Our Team

Melania Spagnoli

CEO & Owner

Born and raised in Brescia, Italy, the land of Franciacorta, Melania has always had a passion for food and wine. After completing her Bachelor in Economics at Università degli Studi di Brescia and her Masters in Management at Bocconi University in Milan, she decided to turn her passion into work. By May 2014 she was designated as a certified Sommelier from Associazione Italiana Sommelier (Italian Sommelier Association) and moved to Houston, TX with her husband Pietro. After two years in the wine sales industry she opened Impero Wine DistributorsTexas, joining the group Impero Wine Distributors USA. Melania’s other great passions are cooking, travelling, fitness, sci-fi movies and novels, cats, and spending time with friends and family.

Kevin Stowell

Operation Manager

Born in Western New York in grape country and a proud Texan for the last 37 years, Kevin developed his passion for wine as a happy accident of fate. After graduating from Rice University in Houston he began working in the restaurant and hotel arena, working his way up to Food and Beverage Director for a major hotel. Along the way a love of food and wine developed and pushed him into a career in the Beverage distribution industry. After ten plus years at one of the largest distributors in the nation and a few stops at smaller enterprises, Kevin found his way to Impero Wine Distributors. Kevin has been married to his wife Linda for 22 years and has two sons, Patrick, 21 and Matthew,19. In addition to wine Kevin has a passion for cooking, travel, golf (indeed all sports) and his family.

Joe Gellman aka “The Gellymonster”

Account Manager

Joe started in the wine and spirit industry in the 1950’s at his family business in Los Angeles, on the Sunset Strip, which business eventually expanded to 17 wine and liquor stores from Manhattan Beach to Malibu.  He eventually represented numerous restaurants in Los Angeles and San Francisco, vineyards in California and abroad, as well as hotels in the U.S. and Europe as an attorney and purchasing agent.  He established offices in Beverly Hills, Paris, Barcelona, and Tel Aviv where he continued representing the industry until he retired.  After retirement and a move from Los Angeles to Houston, he ran several wine departments for Spec’s over more than 10 years. Joseph became an Account Manager for Impero Wine Distributors Texas in 2018.

Francesca Manzioni

Account Manager

Francesca Manzioni  was born in Catania, Sicily and she has been fortunate enough to live all over Italy. She moved to Houston 6 years ago and is very happy to be here in Texas. She has two wonderful kids and a little dog named Rocky. Her passion for wine started a couple of years ago when she went to visit her dear friend Anna in Ovada, the land of the dolcetto grape. She walked with her through her vineyards and she fell in love with this magic world of this special juice that we call wine. After that she started to study as a sommelier in order to understand more about all the grapes that are grown in Italy. Through this process she began to refine her palate and learn what makes all of these wines unique. Francesca feels very lucky to be part of Impero wines in Texas with all of the support she receives to improve every single day.