Rising Star Sommelier Steven Dilley of Bufalina - Biography

Austin, TX

November 2017

Despite having no connection to the industry and never having worked in a restaurant, Steven Dilley became so obsessed with wine that he pivoted from a decade-long financial trading career to a more rewarding, interactive profession surrounded by Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Grenache.

Dilley got his start in wine as many laymen do, by collecting bottles and exploring––by way of drinking––France’s Loire, Jura, and Rhône Valleys, as well as wine regions in other countries. When he moved to Austin from New York City in 2010, he hadn’t opened a bottle of wine from California in nearly 10 years. Inspired by an online wine course, Dilley shifted his focus to California, and started a small project making his own Northern California wine. That project took on a larger meaning with the opening of Bufalina in 2013.

Along with a deep affinity for wine, he’d also fallen for Neapolitan pizza, and Dilley knew that he wanted his first spot to be small, manageable, and hyper-focused. As Bufalina’s owner and sommelier, he holds no pretense when it comes to pairing Margarita pies with nerdy blends, and thankfully, Bufalina is equipped to have the two cohabitate. In 2016, after snagging an Eater “Young Gun” win, Dilley debuted a second outpost, Bufalina Due. One of Food & Wine’s 2017 “Sommeliers of the Year,” Dilley hopes to continue to eschew wine professionals’ antiquated paths by opening more “cool places” to buy and drink wine.