Hospitality and Operations Manager
New Mexico native and veteran of the local Albuquerque restaurant scene, Sean Holler joined Vara Winery & Distillery in January 2022 and became its hospitality and operations manager in July 2022.
Sean brings over 15 years of experience working at fine-dining establishments in Albuquerque to the Vara team. He began his career at the renowned Artichoke Café in 2006, where he started out as a busser before being promoted to assistant manager within a year. Known for his attention to detail and willingness to lead from the front, he demonstrated his ability to manage the entire hospitality team and provide excellent customer service. After quickly earning the trust and respect of the Artichoke Café’s owners, Sean was brought in to oversee their new venture, Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar, which opened in 2008. In 2013, Farina launched its second location, Farina Alto, and the owners offered Sean the opportunity to join them as a partner in the business, where he developed the restaurant concept and crafted the bar program. At Farina Alto, Sean served as the restaurant’s wine buyer, giving him the opportunity to curate the restaurant’s balanced wine list. There, he developed a nuanced palate and passion for wine. Though he counts Italian wines as some of his favorites, Sean is always ready to try something new and exciting – an enthusiasm he brings to the Vara team.
Inspired by Vara’s circle of wine industry veterans and the opportunity to create something entirely new, Sean oversees daily operations at the Albuquerque tasting room and the Vara Vinoteca in Santa Fe to ensure that every guest experiences the highest standards of hospitality. In addition to his leadership in the hospitality space, Sean oversees direct-to-consumer sales and on-site event management.