About Me

bruce in the PRV wine caves with a glass of wine
Deep in the wine caves in Pine Ridge Vineyards, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley.

Hi there, thanks for stopping by.

My name is Bruce and I love wine.

I got introduced to fine Napa Valley wine by my uncle when I was a ski bum in Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is only 3 hours (with no traffic) from Napa Valley so I started hanging out in Napa as much as I possibly could.

After multiple injuries the doctor told me to stop skiing crazy shit and so I moved back to North Carolina.

I got my first wine job working as the wine buyer in a retail store called World Market.  It was a weird place that sold furniture and all types of nick-naks but they also had a substantial wine area.  Very random type of store.

I worked there as the wine buyer for 3 years.

I enjoyed to process of buying and selling wine, working with distributors, and I learned a lot during that time.

But I wanted more of a career in the wine biz so I picked up and moved to Napa Valley looking for a job.

I was homeless living out of campsites, my car, and one or two nights a week at a cheap motel for a few months until I found a job.

I interviewed with Micheal Beaulac and Angelina Mondavi, the winemaker and assistant winemaker at Pine Ridge Vineyards in the Stags Leap District in Napa Valley for a temporary job as a cellar worker for the 2009 harvest.

After the harvest they moved me to the shipping and logistics department where I spent then next 6 years.

I had an opportunity after the 2009 harvest, to follow the harvest down to Australia and in wine production.  I really wanted to do it, but it was almost winter time in California and I’m addicted to snow skiing.

standing in a steep backcountry chute in the Sierra
One of my favorite backcountry lines to ski. Steep and sometimes dangerous. Only 3 hours drive from my Napa apartment.

I decided to stay in Napa and spend every weekend of the winter and spring climbing and skiing big mountains in and around Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada.

It was awesome.  I had one foot firmly planted in the Napa Valley wine business, and one foot planted in adventure skiing in Tahoe.

During my time at Pine Ridge I learned an immense amount about the wine business.  I loved all the wine conversations and stories of my time in Napa.

During my wine career I started learning direct response marketing.  The wine biz is very stuffy and traditional and they were not interested in direct response marketing tactics.

So I quit Pine Ridge, moved back to North Carolina and started a marketing company.

I miss working in the wine biz, and I miss the stories and the people, and several of my wine friends and mentors have passed away.

I still share those stories and what I’ve learned about wine with family and friends, and I figured I’d start this website as a way to share these stories with more people.

So how does this affect you?

Well, this wine website is not my source of income, it is a side project.  I have no idea if I will make any money on this site, although I hope it does, but if it does not, then whatever, I will still be fine.

I’m telling you this because since I don’t work for anyone, and no one in the wine biz, I can say whatever I want to say.  If I like something, I’ll say I like something, if I think something sucks, I will say so.  Although talking shit is not really my thing.

The goal with this site is to share my stories and educate folks interested in enjoying wine.

While I love great wine like everyone else, I can not afford it.  Working in the biz in Napa, I had access to all types of the worlds greatest wine for free or very cheap.

Now that I am no longer in the biz, I buy wine retail like everyone else.  And I do not like paying a lot for good wine.  There are times I will splurge, but most of the time I’m spending $15 – $25 a bottle.

Although I am still a wine club member at Sequoia Grove which definitely costs more.  And I still buy Pine Ridge wine, which costs even more, because PRV make some seriously good wine.

Also, this is the first website I’ve built where I will leave the Comments section open.  If you have questions, let me know and I’ll try to answer them.  Although if it just gets bombed with pure spam comments I’ll probably close it.

But the idea is to be helpful, fun, and educate people that are interested in wine.

Thanks for reading this far!