Who We Are

Ned TowleNed Towle, Director, WWS

Ned Towle is the Founder and Director of the Westchester Wine School which celebrated its 10th year in 2014.  With Ned, learning wine is as enjoyable as drinking it.  His broad and deep knowledge and wit make him a "teacher" extraordinaire.  Ned has worked in wineries in France and visited wineries throughout Europe and the United States. He is certified as a Wine Educator by the Society of Wine Educators, Wine Judge by the American Wine Society, and Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Doug Croll, Associate Director, WWS

Doug CrollDoug Croll is a Certified Specialist of Wine and a member of the Society of Wine Educators and the American Wine Society.  He has judged wines at local and regional competitions.  He is a regular attendee and contributor to local wine meetup groups as well as various social media sites devoted to wine and food. At the Westchester Wine School, Doug is responsible for working with Italian Wine Central to design and lead the Italian Wine Professional course, and for promoting the School's programs through its web site and social media. He has a special love for Italian wines and wine regions and sharing his knowledge with others. He can be followed on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest (toleranttaster) or blog: toleranttaster.com.

Elizabeth Miller, Associate Director, WWS

Elizabeth MillerElizabeth is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and Certified  Specialist of Spirits (CSS) through the Society of Wine Educators.  She is currently working towards the French Wine Scholar designation  awarded by the French Wine Society. Since 2010 Elizabeth has been a Manager at Vintology Wine & Spirits in Scarsdale, NY. At the Westchester Wine School, Elizabeth is responsible for developing curriculum, giving the Certified Specialist of Wine course, and promoting the School's programs through the internet and social media.

Raised in Westchester, Elizabeth founded and ran a successful personal  training business, Elizabeth Miller Fit, LLC. As a foodie and wine  appreciator, Elizabeth stressed with her clients the balance between  indulgence and food appreciation, and health and fitness. This  approach and growing curiosity for food and wine inspired Elizabeth to  moonlight at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in 2008. Their training and  staff education sprinkled the seeds for interest in the wine industry,  and Elizabeth soon began studies with the American Sommelier  Association. Elizabeth moved on to manage Red Hat on the River in  Irvington, NY, and found the most enjoyable part of service was wine  recommendations and the conversations with guests that followed. With  a growing voracious love for the wine industry, Elizabeth joined  Vintology Wine & Spirits. 


Westchester wine School Class Picture
In addition to Ned, Elizabeth and Doug, many students/friends/wine lovers contribute to the classes of the Westchester Wine School through talking about their wine experiences and knowledge, helping out, or sharing a special wine

Ned and Linda Towle having fun and working hard serving wine at the "Westchester Wine Experience" sponsored by the Pleasantville Rotary Club
Proud Chavalier of the Ordre de la Dive Bouteille, Gaillac, Fr.


Ned’s first exposure to wine came at the age of 19 when he picked grapes in southern France for a wine grower whose only means of transporting grapes…and grape pickers…was a wooden cart drawn by a donkey. More recently, he worked in many aspects of wine growing and wine making at Chateau de Mayragues in southwestern France. Ned has led wine tastings in Paris and Versailles, where the presence of his daughter and grandson, and his love of wine and French, all come together.  Ned is assisted by his wife, Linda, whose enthusiasm for people and wine creates the right balance for presentations on the richness and harmony of wine. In addition to handling various Wine School responsibilities, Linda has a private psychotherapy practice in Manhattan and Hastings on Hudson.

Ned and Robert ParkerGeorge DeBouf and Ned Towle
Ned gets to meet many of the world’s wine leaders; above with Robert Parker and George Duboeuf.

Peter Herrero and Ned
With Peter Herrero, restauranteur extraordinaire,
and owner of Sam’s of Gedney Way where
many of our classes are held.

In his former career, Ned held various positions at the MTA New York City Transit Authority, including Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance and Planning, and Assistant General Manager of Bus Operations.  A degree in divinity from Union Theological Seminary in 2003 nurtured his natural calling to the world of wine.

Check out these short videos:
See Ned become a French Chevalier

Ned interviewed by Westfair Media's Caryn McBride
Read a 2009 profile in Westchester Magazine
Read the 2014 profile in the Wall Street Journal