Pamela S. Busch has had a long and sorted career in the wine industry. Currently, the Owner and Wine Director of CAV Wine Bar & Kitchen, she began her career working retail at Astor Wines and Spirits in New York City. There, she was exposed to esoteric wines from all parts of the world and this experience shaped her philosophy and appreciation of wine.
Pamela moved in San Francisco to 1992 and was quickly hired as the sommelier at Amelios, a French restaurant that had a wine list concentrated on high end Bordeaux and California wines. It was a diametric opposite to working at Astor and while she enjoyed this time, she began to dream of opening a wine bar similar to ones she had seen when she studied and lived in London in the late ‘80s.
In 1994, Pamela opened Hayes and Vine Wine Bar, a trend setting venue for its time, in San Francisco. She assembled a wine list that included selections from Austria and South Africa, which were at the time almost unheard of in the Bay Area. Under Pamela’s leadership, Hayes and Vine was recognized as one of the top wine bars in the country. After leaving Hayes and Vine, Pamela created The Grapes of Path wine school. Originally intended for restaurant and wine industry professionals, The Grapes of Path quickly became the foremost resource for wine education in San Francisco.
While she was teaching and running The Grapes of Path, Pamela had a foray into film making. She has written and directed three short films that have been shown in film festivals throughout the world.
In 2003, Pamela thought about opening another wine bar but this time one that had a full kitchen. In September 2005, her vision became a reality when CAV Wine Bar and Kitchen opened its doors on Market Street in San Francisco. Since its birth, CAV has received rave reviews with special praise going to its wine list. CAV was included in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 list in March 2008 and was selected as Best Wine Bar by Sunset Magazine in June, 2007.
Pamela has also written about film and wine for numerous publications. She has a weekly wine column for the San Francisco Examiner.