ILL Woman of the Week: Marisa Sergi | Cornell University

Marisa Sergi

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Where are you from?

My hometown is Youngstown, Ohio but I am currently a New York state resident.  I am from a family with a large Italian background–believe it or not– I am 75% Italian.  Also,  my parents own a winery, L’uva Bella Winery. (

How does a perfect date look like to you?

Honestly, I truly enjoy something low-key. I like going out to dinner or just hanging out and getting to know someone.  I am not hard to please but it’s always nice if something extra special is planned once in a while.  The little things matter most to me.

Tell me about your life

My background and passion for winemaking drove me to pursue a degree in Viticulture and Enology (winemaking). I am the wine club president, assistant philanthropy chair and wellness chair for my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega.  I currently hold the title Miss New York Collegiate America.  I promote the platform B.R.A.V.E.- building respect and values for everyone.  I will be competing at the National pageant at Walt Disney World June 30-July 5, 2015.  While I am not busy with my other activities, I like to hang out with friends, travel, hike and fish!

Why wine making?

I am a 3rd generation winemaker and one of the first to attend college in my family. I planned early in my college career that I would break into the predominantly male-ran wine industry by doing something unique! With the platform of women-empowerment and embracing who you are, I established a wine brand, RedHead.   By combining the red fruit flavors of Carmenère with spicy Zinfandel, I modeled the wine after my own bold character.  RedHead Wine is “sweet and spicy,” like a red head!  Recently, the plan was ranked as one of the top 15 undergraduate business plans in the globe by

What’s your favorite food?

My favorite food is sushi. My best friend Elie introduced me to sushi this semester and I am hooked!

If you could travel anywhere right now, where and why?

I would travel to Aruba. It is my favorite place that I have traveled to thus far. It is a small island full of friendly people and gorgeous beaches. The water is crystal clear and the perfect temperature. I can see myself buying a vacation home here in the future.

Who are your role models?

My grandparents and parents.  My grandparents immigrated to this country with only a suitcase and a dream to give future generations in my family a better life.  My parents emphasized the importance of education.  With this base, my motivation comes from the excitement I put toward meeting goals I set as well as the passion I have for them.

Give me your favorite quote

“The answer is always no if you don’t ask”- Frank Sergi

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