For John it was over an important business meeting in Paris in 1989 where he drank white Burgundy served with oysters and fish; a meal served over 20 years ago but one that has stayed in his memory.
For Sharon it was during junior year abroad in France where she spent a year at the Universite de Bordeaux. As a student she was taken under the wing of the wife of the University’s president, which in short is how she found herself, at age 20, being taken on a personal tour of Chateau Haut Brion, producer of one of the greatest wines in the world. The tour was led by the legendary Monsieur Delmas (Senior) himself, who kindly let her taste the renowned 1982 vintage out of the barrel, followed by the 1966. That moment changed her life, and sealed her interest in wine and the Bordeaux region itself.
Neither of us had any notion at the time that these seminal experiences would stay with us and ultimately lead us to make our own wine in the Napa Valley. When we met in 1991 our shared interest in wine grew, as did our involvement with Amici Cellars, and we focused on expanding our understanding of Napa Valley Wines. In 1998, after many years of working in technology, we invested in a winery in Napa.
Several years later, in 2004 with two young children in tow we applied and were accepted to the famous DUAD program (the Diplome Universitaire d’Aptitude a la Degustation des Vins) offered through the University of Bordeaux’s Oenology department. The DUAD is an intensive yearlong program that takes four years of oenology and condenses it into one compacted year
Two years later, armed with our Bordeaux experience, we returned to the States and moved to Napa Valley. Although we live here, our love of wine really is a shared experience between Napa and Bordeaux.