Our Team

Founded by Three Female Sommeliers

Seeking to diversify leadership in the hospitality industry by empowering women and minorities.
Victoria James is an author, and the Director of Beverage at COTE. When she was 21, she became certified as a sommelier, the youngest in the country. She is listed as a Forbes "30 Under 30," Food & Wine's "2018 Sommelier of the Year," Zagat’s “30 Under 30,” Wine Enthusiast’s “40 Under 40,” and Wine & Spirits’ “Best New Sommelier.” She also received two nominations by the James Beard Foundation for "Outstanding Wine Program" at COTE.

Victoria James

Founder & President

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Cynthia Cheng was born into a family of restaurateurs. A jack of all trades, Cynthia has owned several businesses including a catering business that catered to a few of the most heralded country clubs in Westchester. She followed her passion for wine and earned her sommelier pin with the Court of Master Sommeliers. She began at COTE as a sommelier, transitioned into the special events manager, and is now the current Director of Human Resources.

Cynthia Cheng

Founder & Treasurer

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Amy Zhou is the Director of Operations at COTE. She earned her first sommelier position in Shanghai at 20 years old, later becoming a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Masters. She moved to New York City in 2011 to pursue a B.S. in Hospitality Management at New York University. After graduation, she was hired to B.R. Guest, where she transitioned into management and eventually became the youngest GM in the group before moving onto Team COTE where she met Victoria and Cynthia.

Amy Zhou

Founder & Vice President

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