My name is Susanne Johnston, and I have owned and operated Frisco Wine Merchant in Frisco, CO for 12+ years. I am a Colorado native and I have spent my life working in the food and wine industries.
I graduated from Metropolitan State College—it was not a University yet—with a degree in Hospitality Management and Marketing. I had a destination marketing company in Telluride in the early ’90’s. I also waited tables for a couple of years in Durango, CO before moving to Napa, CA in 1996. There I worked at Chateau Montelena, waited tables Catahoula, and sold retail wine at Dean & Deluca while learning all I could about wine. I started an import company in 1999, Artisan Wine Group, and brought small production California wines to Wyoming and Colorado.
In 2003, I eventually needed to decide if staying in California was the right thing to do or to move back home to Colorado and see what opportunities there might be. I was a sommelier at Del Frisco Steak House in the Denver Tech Center for little more than a year. It seemed every weekend I would drive to Breckenridge and Silverthorne and stay with friends and family. Then it dawned on me, “Why don’t I do my own thing where I really want to be, the Central Rocky Mountains?” So I moved to Summit County full time in 2005 and waited for a commercial space to become available. My first location was on Highway 9 and Granite, and I opened in July of 2005. I have been sharing my passion for amazing wines ever since. A few re-locations and 12+ years later, I still find myself on Main St in Frisco, now focusing on retail, tastings, education, and consultation.