“Follow your bliss,” they say. For Patricia Thomson, that led to wine and film. She now is a contributing writer to American Cinematographer and Tastes of Italia magazines. Her stories have also appeared in numerous print and online publications, including Decanter, World of Fine Wine, and Wine Enthusiast, plus everything from Variety to Columbia Journalism Review to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Pat’s interest in wine began during her student years, when she studied Italian Renaissance art history in Florence. Here she was seduced by Sangiovese, enjoyed at magic hour on her loggia on Piazza Santo Spirito. Over time, that passion grew into a vocation. Trips to wine country were followed by studies with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and membership in the Wine Media Guild.
On one fateful trip to Italy, she met her husband, Claudio Bisio, while biking the hills of Piedmont. In 1999, the duo founded La Dolce Vita Wine Tours, a boutique tour operator specializing in wine tours in Italy and Spain. Since then, Pat’s work as a wine guide and educator has dovetailed with her writing, enabling her to see the vineyards firsthand, build relationships with winemakers, and dig deep into wine culture. She currently divides her time between New York City and Italy.
In 2008, she created a wine tasting group in New York City that offers wine education in a social setting and is still going strong. Both she and her Dolce Vita partner are available to organize wine tastings in the New York tri-state area for private groups, wine clubs, or businesses.
During these same years, Pat was also immersed in film. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University and getting her Masters in Art History from the University of Virginia, she started writing about film, video, and new media while working in Cincinnati at the Contemporary Arts Center. She continued in Chicago as a contributing editor for the New Art Examiner and then in New York City as a regular writer for Afterimage.
For 14 years, she was at the center of the burgeoning independent film world while working at The Independent Film & Video Monthly, first as managing editor in 1987 and then as editor in chief from 1991 to 2001. She traveled to film festivals in Spain, Germany, Ireland, Bosnia-Herznogovia, Canada, and US, and moderated panels for Kodak, Tribeca Film Festival, ASC, and the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF). During this time, she also freelanced for a wide range of newspapers and film magazines, and picked up two Media Writing grants from the New York State Council on the Arts.
In 1998, Pat began writing for American Cinematographer, a publication of the American Society of Cinematographers, which she continues to the present as their East Coast correspondent.
Pat also works as a freelance copyeditor, currently with ELLE. Past clients have included Self, Wine Spectator, National Geographic Adventure, Field & Stream, and Fitness magazines, as well as the book publishers John Wiley & Sons, MacMillan & Co., and Harry N. Abrams, and the nonprofits Creative Capital and the Rockefeller Foundation.