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Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis

  • 245 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55401, USA

Paul Hennessy

Mara Assistant General Manager and Sommelier


Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2022
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: current

Employment History

  • Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis; The Bachelor Farmer


  • University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, USA


  • Duluth, Minnesota, USA

Languages Spoken

  • English

Paul Hennessy, Mara Assistant General Manager and Sommelier at Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis, describes his service approach as a linear experience: “I want each guest to get every single thing they need without even noticing I was there,” he says. He also notes it’s about more than what’s in the glass. “I always say you can do the most for a guest with eye contact and water. When we ask, ‘how are you?’ and look people in the eye, they’re genuinely surprised. We actually want to know how you are.”

While his service approach has been honed over 20 years in the industry, Paul is best known for his work as assistant wine director at award-winning restaurant The Bachelor Farmer. He was part of the team that received a nod from the James Beard committee for Outstanding Wine Program, and he was nominated for a Charlie Award, which celebrates the best in the Twin Cities food, beverage and restaurant industries. His involvement in the wine world goes beyond the restaurant walls, too. He is a founding board member of Twin Cities Sommeliers, a mentorship-driven non-profit that works to elevate beverage education in Minnesota.

At Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis, Paul has curated two different wine lists for two different restaurants, both focused on unique producers, regions and varietals. “Because Riva Terrace is inspired by the Italian riviera, we have Italian wines, Slovenian pet-nats, rosés, and other options that are perfect for poolside,” he says. “Our Mediterranean-inspired restaurant Mara is a little wilder, with more exotic options that are connected to what’s coming out of the kitchen,” he says.

In some ways, Paul’s hospitality work is in his blood. His grandfather owned a bar that his dad also worked at, making him a third-generation bartender. “Every time I move away from the business, I always feel compelled to come back,” he says. But his attraction to wine came later in his career, after he started at The Bachelor Farmer. “It was like, people talk about this like they do collecting records or art, and I didn’t really get it,” he says. “But then I tasted this gamay from Marcel Lapierre, a famous producer, and it was like someone turned the lights on. Everything made sense in 30 seconds. I was like, give me a book. Let’s learn this.” Paul hasn’t stopped learning, as he recently completed his Court of Master Sommelier Certification theory, tasting and service exams.

A Minnesotan at heart, when he’s not behind the bar you’ll likely find Paul outdoors, biking along the area’s extensive network of bike paths, or hiking the many trails around the state — especially in the winter!