Born in Chicago and grew up drinking French, Italian and German wine. My grandfather made wine in the basement and we drank pink water at the Sunday table with the grownups. Napa lured me away from a career in technology. Started with micro-production wineries and an Enomatic wine bar, then at Stags Leap, St. Helena and Carneros properties, serving on the Carneros Wine Alliance board. So now it’s come full circle!
Where have you lived?
Chicago, Champaign-Urbana IL, Boulder, CO, Oakland, Woodside and Vallejo, CA. Many hours in United cabins around the globe.
“Oyota” Corolla. Drove it mercilessly, gave it to my brother, left as dubious legacy for students at University of Illinois.
How did you start in the wine business?
Wine sales and marketing at Costco, met a couple who were making their own brand from tiny vineyards, and managing a wine bar in Napa. Crush, learning to make, buy and market wines….
Best concerts of your life
Jackson Browne at Ravinia, Grateful Dead at Philly Spectrum, Farm Aid in Champaign, B52’s at Red Rocks, Pink Floyd at Soldier Field, B.B. King at Kingston Mines, Dave Brubeck at Concord Pavilion, Kiri Te Kanawa at Metropolitan Opera, Indigo Girls at Berkeley Greek, O’Jays at Stern Grove. Is that too many?
After staring at a computer all day I want to drink a…
Duvel, or an Evil Cousin by Heretic Brewing.
Favorite vacation spot
Amalfi coast. Frightening curves and 1000 foot drops. Stunning.
Biggest smile on your face
Hiking anywhere in the world with vistas in muddy boots. Seeing happiness on faces of families over a meal of pasta and wine.
Fantastic wine experience
Gorgeous Chablis and oysters at The Half Shell, a pre-opera tradition with family.
Last bottle of wine you ever want to drink
Haven’t found it yet – that’s the fun part. Maybe a Nebbiolo.
Equal opportunity cheese lover. They all make me happy.
Great food and wine pairing
Anything squishy from the sea with Champagne or flinty, briny whites.
If you won the lottery
Hike islands with swimming beaches and soft breezes. Follow the sun through winegrowing regions across the world. Contribute to hunger and research programs. Be grateful for good fortune.