When I left for college at the age of 18, I carried among my luggage two cases of Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Georges de la Tour Private Reserve. Somehow I managed to make these babies last my entire freshman year. This became quite a challenge upon finding myself awash in seas of jug wine at every social encounter. I took the risk of appearing the dilettante, but could later boast the salvation of my palate.
My perverseness was, no doubt, the result of having been brought up in the wine retail business, and being in thrall of wine making excellence. Admittedly, the wine I helped make, as a small boy alongside my father and grandfather, was not anything you would care to suffer. But the wine was in my blood, literally. I did the siphoning of that fiery stuff from barrel to bottle, and frequently suffered an eye-popping gush.
During the 50's we looked to Bordeaux for excellence in wine making, but the industry in California was indeed stirring. Look how far we've come in just fifty years: vineyard plantings have proceeded exponentially, and skills at managing the fine varietals have achieved ever-increasing heights.
I am pleased to have had a part, however small, in this development. Along with operating two restaurants and a wine and liquor shop, I have participated as a tasting judge at many wine fairs and competitions. Most enjoyable for me has been the hosting of frequent winemaker dinners, and the sponsoring of wine tasting organizations. I will always be a man of wine and will continue to offer the finest wines as they become available. There is no finer gift than the gift of wine. I hope you will allow me to personalize the packaging of that gift to make it truly special.