At eighteen I moved to New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts but quit after two years to pursue a career in the restaurant industry. Living in NYC I was fascinated by the predominantly French restaurant scene and worked my way up from garde manger to sous chef and finally executive chef.
Finding kitchen work very anti-social I yearned for more human interaction and moved from the kitchen to front of the house. I was lucky to work in some great restaurants, like Alison on Dominick Street, and Bouley, in Tribeca. They had wonderful French wine lists with stars like Cheval Blanc, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Gloria, old Pommards, well aged Chassagne-Montrachet and other stars of Burgundy and Bordeaux. To learn more about French wine I apprenticed with Kevin Zraly at the Windows on the World Wine Class and devoured Hugh Johnson's World Atlas of wine. California wines were not dominant in the market yet, French wines were still king.
In 1991 I moved to California and started to learn about California wines. Visiting Napa, Sonoma, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles and other growing regions. I went back to college and simultaneously held a job at the Five Crowns in Corona Del Mar as their Cellar Master in charge of a 5,000 bottle wine cellar. In 2000 I took a job as wine director at Vertical Wine Bar in Laguna Beach. Tasting more than sixty wines per week, making all the buying decisions and writing the wine list. Vertical Wine Bar earned a Wine Spectator Grand Award before we even opened.
Combing my two passions Wine and Photography, Wine Photo Workshops was born. WPW is for photographers - wine adventurers and image makers. Workshops are intimate and kept to a group of six. We’ll visit and explore wineries and food destinations throughout the world; visit with sommeliers, winemakers, vineyard owners and restauranteurs, with special behind the scenes access. You’ll have the opportunity to learn, make new friends, have fun, experience private tastings and raise the bar on your photographic vision and skills.
To contact me for more information on joining a wine photo workshop and press inquiries, email me here. I'd also be delighted to talk with you on the phone at 949.494.5084.
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