Founder/President, Lift Collective; Wine Director/Managing Partner, Bufalina, Austin, TX
An Uplifting Presence
As an Advanced Sommelier who’s spent almost two decades working in hospitality, Zayyat has thrived on the convivial, electric feel that spreads when folks gather, taste and bond over what’s in their glasses. She’s been quick to acknowledge, however, that in the wine world, those feelings have been historically varnished with prejudice and misogyny.
To address these and similar issues, she founded the annual Wonder Women of Wine conference in 2018. Expanded, rebranded as Lift Collective and evolved into a virtual event earlier this year, the platform aims to celebrate diversity and bring balance to the wine industry by advocating for the inclusion of marginalized communities.
Through it all, she’s also served as the wine director of Austin’s Bufalina restaurant, where during the pandemic, she put the venue’s massive list of natural wines online and launched an e-commerce platform and wine club.