My love of wine was fostered by a move to Bordeaux with my family in 1975 where I explored the wines and cheeses of southwestern France. After returning to California I opened a retail wine shop in El Dorado County where we featured local wines. After helping with the startup of Lake Sonoma Winery in Dry Creek Valley, I moved on to the importing segment of the wine business. After learning so much from fine wine producers from many countries, Peter and I bought a small vineyard in the Mayacamas Mountains of Sonoma Valley to make our own wines. After 21 years in business, we retired to taste, cook and travel while sharing our experiences with others.
In the early 1970s, I began working at Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans and became infatuated with classic French wines and food. After seven years in the restaurant industry, I ventured into wine retail, then into wholesale distribution, then into wine importing, marketing and sales. These pursuits took me to my favorite wine regions of Europe to learn what the best properties did to make their wines special. These also led me to California during the wine renaissance of the late 1970s to meet the new small, artisan producers. After absorbing as much knowledge as I could from others, Betsy and I started our own winery in 2000 and retired in 2022 to travel around the world and write about our escapades.