As I celebrate my 30th year in the wine industry, there is an exciting change in the focus of my life and career.
Almost 30 years ago to the day, I began at Sonoma-Cutrer. At the start, I was mentored by many of the early marketing gurus in this field. Over the years, I have had the privilege of representing the finest wine brands in the world and, more importantly, breaking bread with the pioneers who have blazed the trails in this great industry. Thankfully, they invited me into their lives and trusted me with their stories.
My company, MGPR, was honored to be on the teams of wineries such as Ferrari-Carano, Bernardus, Robert Mondavi, Corison, David Bruce, Davis Bynum and Gloria Ferrer. In the early 1990s on the Gauer train, we transported fresh, local organic Sonoma County foods up and down and across the country exposing food and wine media, trade and VIPs to the veritable cornucopia of Sonoma Select delicacies. We were also among the first PR firms to venture to Argentina in 2002, when awareness of that magical country as a wine destination was just beginning to emerge.
Being taught about vineyards from the likes of Robert Young, Andy Beckstoffer, Warren Dutton, Saralee and Rich Kunde has provided memories to serve a lifetime. And, working with the Benziger family, as they transitioned from conventional farming to becoming an American leader in Biodynamic viticultural practices, changed my life as well as my business.
Now, in celebration of this milestone, I’m taking a sabbatical through the end of the year for extended travel and inspiration. In January 2014, I’ll return to welcome my first grandchild and to begin a new chapter in my career. My intention is to work with colleague John Garn, one of the leading experts on environmental solutions, to assist wineries and food purveyors in implementing and promoting sustainable business practices, and in becoming agricultural models for responsible global business.
September winds of change are blowing me in the direction of Scotland, Turkey, Greece, and France. The plan is to be in France during harvest. I’m taking my laptop so that we can stay in touch and I can share adventures throughout my travels.
Thank you for your support and friendship throughout these many years.
Cheers & warm regards,