Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Napa Bound

Well, it has finally happened...I'm making the move to Napa. Or, as an old Irish saying goes, "I'm throwing my hat over the wall" (in reference to a large wall in Ireland that once you threw your favorite hat over, you were forced to scale it at all costs to retrieve it).

I could no longer resist the pull to follow my passion, my personal interests and my business prowess to get directly involved with the wine industry. I've been dabbling in and around the industry for a couple of years both as an enthusiast and with various small business ventures. I've gained some valuable experience with online marketing, community forums, and meeting some great people at the local wine shops. And, I went through levels I&II of my sommelier certificate training to get the technical experience needed to round out my knowledge. Now it is time to put all of this to good use.

It looks as though I will be working directly with a new winery (yet to be appointed) in Napa that is exciting, growing, and wishing to make a big splash in the area. They have a great name, label, and owners that are producing a world-class set of wines ready to take the market by storm. The opportunity seems as great as the label with a wealth of growth potential in all of the areas of selling wine directly to the consumer. These wines are not available at restaurants or stores and present a challenge to create a wide consumer alliance directly from the winery itself... everything I know and love to do.

So, as I make the trek up the coast to the Napa valley, I hope discover the following:

Working directly with my wine passion - those that seem to be most successful in life are doing what they love in an industry that suits them

Living the heart of wine country - the beauty, the terrain, the smells, the peace, one big ahhhhhhh

Learning wine from the inside out - nothing can prepare you or inform you better than working directly at the source

Part of growing a new concept - one word, opportunity

Connections - in just a few trips to the valley setting things up, you quickly realize it is who you know up there

Quality of life - there is just an air about it there that exudes class and quality (once you get past some of the snobbery)

Change of pace - no major highways or big city living, lots of countryside charm

Food & Wine Mecca - no one combines the style, the quality and the depth of the entire food and wine experience than Napa

A place to store my wine - maybe I'll finally be able to land my wine collection where I can access it on a regular basis

So, off I go...to the wild green yonder. It will take a few weeks to get settled, but I hope to report back as soon as I get my footing there. By then I can disclose where I landed and invite all of you to visit the new winery.

Remember, it's all in who you know...you know who to ask for now.

Till the next sip...swirl ya' later,

Chief Wino


Ginfam said...

I think this might be more ‘fate’ that anything else...

I have been working on putting together a 10 year anniversary package for my husband & me (and I've decided on a CA wine tour). This is still 1 1/2 years out, but I wanted to start investigating as to what the really good places are to find (off the beaten path sort of stuff) and ran across your website & blog.

Just curious – are you originally from Texas? And do you have an older brother named Robert? Matuszewski isn’t just an ordinary name & I was just curious if you were the same Jimmy Matuszewski from Texas that was my first ‘official’ date???

If not, I still greatly appreciate all of the knowledge and suggestions your sites have to offer. If so – what a small world!!!

P.S. – I’ve never posted to a blog before – so if you would kindly edit out the personal piece – that would be great!!

Thanks so much!!

Shannon said...

Hi James,

My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at Foodbuzz.com. Following up on a recent email invitation to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I just want to reiterate that I am very impressed with the quality of your posts. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at Shannon@foodbuzz.com.

Enjoy Napa!


Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant, Foodbuzz.com