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One South County Road
FL 33480 Palm Beach
Henry Morrison Flagler, an oil tycoon of the late 1800's, built The Royal Poinciana in 1894 as a destination resort for the rich and famous. The original structure was located in Palm Beach island on the Lake Worth side. In 1896, Flagler constructed a smaller property on the Atlantic Ocean side to accommodate the overflow of northeastern guests; he named the new property The Palm Beach Inn. By 1901, as more and more guests began to request rooms “down by the breakers", Flagler renames the Inn as The Breakers. The hotel caught on fire twice, first in 1903 and again in 1925. As a tribute to Henry Flagler, The Flagler heirs rebuilt the current Breakers, one of the finest resorts in the world, at a cost of $7million. From the astonishing fact of the project was that from ground breaking to the first guest check-in on 29 December 1926, The Breakers construction was completed in a record-breaking 11.5 months, despite a hurricane in 1926. To this day, The Breakers is praised as one of the most magnificent architectural and artistic achievements of its era.
The elegance, opulence, and tranquility of The Breakers always reminds me of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto #21, better known as Elvira Madigan's theme.
While serving in the United States Army I started to taste wines and to appreciate the effort placed behind the beverage. As I enhanced my enjoyment, my thirst for learning how it was made, by whom, and from where continue to pull me towards discovering the secret to wine. Learning about wine and spirits and mastering the subjects is a never-ending quest that I enjoy and love. It continues to fascinate me that the products are living and evolving gifts from nature.
I discovered Louis XIII during my first year working at L'Escalier restaurant in 2009. I had heard about Louis XIII but had never had the opportunity to taste it or to accurately understand the magnificence of this amazing beverage. My supervisor at the time, Virginia Philip, lead a tasting of Rémy Martin cognacs that culminated with a small sample of Louis XIII. The second I savored Louis XIII I knew that I had tasted perfection in a bottle.
I would categorically say that Louis XIII is the most exquisite and historic spirit in the world. The care and meticulous selection of the best eaux-de-vie used in its production from the best appellations of Cognac is unequalled; the patience of its long ageing is exceptional; its aromas will seduce the mind, while the smooth flavors will spoil the palate, whereas its complexity will mystify those fortunate enough to savor it. Drinking Louis XIII is a sublime experience.
To become a Master of Wine or Master Sommelier and use the acquired knowledge and experience to educate consumers and wine students about wine and spirits, thus, passing the torch to the next generation of professionals of my chosen trade.
As an Advanced Sommelier for The Flagler Steakhouse at The Breakers Palm Beach, Greg Rivera manages the restaurant's beverage program and supports the extensive employee training program by leading wine classes and mentoring his associates. He is one of The Breakers' talented team of four sommeliers who enjoys sharing with guests and team members his passionate knowledge of wine.
Rivera joined The Breakers Palm Beach in 2009, to work alongside two internationally recognized Master Sommeliers, Virginia Philip and Juan Gomez, at the resort's former award-winning, fine dining restaurant. Prior to entering into the wine profession, Rivera was an army combat officer and longtime executive. While collecting wine as a hobby and taking basic classes, he was bit by the “wine bug" and decided to change careers to pursue his passion. He began working for a boutique wine importer and distributor in 2005. One year later, he received his Certified Sommelier credentials from the Court of Master Sommeliers and passed his Certified Specialist of Wine test. While attending the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone's Basic and Advanced Wine Professional Immersion program from 2008 to 2009, he completed the program's Advanced Certified Wine Specialist certification. By 2011, he received his Advanced Sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Among his many accolades, Rivera won the 1st Ruinart Chardonnay Competition for the southeast region in 2010, and was awarded a trip to France. In 2012, he was the only sommelier to pass an advanced certification test administered by BARSMART, an online bartender certification and education program. A member of the Society of Wine Educators and the Court of Master Sommeliers, Rivera has judged several wine competitions, participated in various South Florida panels and conducted seminars for the Napa Valley Vintners Association.
A native of Santurce, Puerto Rico, Rivera resides in Boca Raton, Florida with his wife Kristin.