All wine stories begin with friends. In my case, the friends who took a chance that my palate could raise its game to the level of what they would pour for me (1982 Bordeaux); the friends who told me about a very special place in California wine country (Healdsburg); the friends who took me to a special neighboring property in a private valley that had just come up for sale; the friend who introduced me to an incredible winemaker (Thomas Rivers Brown); the many friends I have met in both Napa and Sonoma with whom I have shared wine, food and wonderful friendships.
There is also a back-story to my adventure in wine making, which began in late October 2004, when I sat for a technical rehearsal of a new musical at my home town La Jolla Playhouse. It was the best musical I had ever seen and I would become the largest individual investor in Jersey Boys, which became a worldwide smash hit. After a decade, it is the 12th longest running musical in the history of Broadway. Almost 23 million people worldwide have seen the show, now playing to audiences in five locations worldwide. Jersey Boys not only provided the resources to live my passion for wine but created a whole new level of friendships among the executive producers, the writers, the director, the choreographer, the music director, the surviving members of The Four Seasons, the actors, stagehands, publicists and, of course, all the repeat customers. There is no greater pleasure than to sit in the back of the theater at final curtain to see the enraptured faces of all the satisfied customers, who are standing to applaud the show. Well, actually, there is now another equal pleasure, to watch customers enjoy Kinsella Estates wine, blended together from a whole other set of friendships.
As Kinsella Estates approaches the release of its fifth cabernet sauvignon vintage, the bond of friendship among our winemaker, vineyard manager, viticulturalist, ranch hand, the land, the water and the sun now extends to our customers, who by buying and enjoying our wine – my passion – have joined that circle of friendship, a relationship noted on our label as built “Su Una Stretta di Mano,” on a handshake. It’s a line from Jersey Boys and it is the way we always do business.