Excerpt From: A Special Day at Bottega in Napa Valley by The Heritage Cook
Jane Bonacci, of The Heritage Cookbook, shares her thoughts and experiences from a sojourn to Napa Valley back in 2013. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with her entourage. Excerpts from her wine write-up follow. A link to the original article is provided.
...”We then met Brandon St-Martin, Bottega’s head of winery relations and a great guy. He immediately had the gals swooning with his good looks, natural southern charm, and sense of humor. He gave us an overview of the history of winemaking in the Napa Valley, explaining about the challenges early vintners faced, and brought us to the point where Chef Chiarello made the decision to add the title of winegrower to his impressive resume.
Then we headed to the terrazzo directly adjacent to the restaurant and settled in for some more lessons on the fine art of wine tasting. Oh My, what an experience! We couldn’t have asked for a better tutor than Brandon. Bright and intelligent with a thorough knowledge of winemaking, he was able to answer all of our questions, anticipating most of them before we even knew we wanted the answers!..”
From 2008 to 2013, I had the honor and privilege of working alongside some of the finest winemakers, winegrowers, owners, vintners and hospitality professionals anywhere in the wine world. I conducted winery sales, marketing and hospitality services for several wineries. Here are some sage insights from a few friends from back in the day...
TIM LEONARD | firstname.lastname@example.org
“It is with great pleasure to write a few words of praise for Brandon St Martin. I have known Brandon for years and have only known Brandon to be nothing short of a true gentleman. I have seen him under pressure and have seen him handle any situation with dignity and grace. I have learned a lot from Brandon. His knowledge of wine is encyclopedic. His passion and enthusiasm for wine is unmatched. He really enjoys sharing his knowledge with others in an unpretentious way. His work ethic is unrivaled.
It was a sad day the day he left Del Dotto to venture out on his own. He left a great void when he left that really hasn’t been filled since. I wish him the best in all he endeavors, and feel my life has been enriched through knowing him.”
- Sincerely, Tim Leonard
(Worthy of mention: Tim has been the top-selling wine sales executive at Del Dotto Vineyards for the past five years.)
DAVID RASMUSSEN | email@example.com
“As an established family-owned tour company in Napa Valley, we have known and worked with Brandon St.Martin for years. He has always been an excellent communicator, speaking with clarity, fluency and above all, he entertains our guests. In our world, the more one engages the clients, the more successful one is. Therefore, we would highly recommend Brandon.”
- David Rasmussen, Owner, Eclectic Tour
(Worthy of mention, Dave is one of the most requested private tour operators in Napa Valley, and he is widely respected for his professionalism. He also happens to be silver-tongued, wry-witted, and fiercely British.)
SIMON MCAULEY CWP CS | firstname.lastname@example.org
“Brandon St Martin is the consummate wine professional. He has a thirst for knowledge and is eager to share this with the highly trained intellect to the complete novice in a non demeaning manner. I first met Brandon years ago while working at Del Dotto Vineyard & Winery in Napa and found him to be extremely affable and approachable. He was very popular amongst staff and Del Dotto clients. Brandon’s key strength is his ability to look at the macro and/or micro picture and change up his game-plan to match accordingly. He is a source of creativity and a person you can trust and depend on. Feel free to contact me, to provide more information about Brandon St Martin.”
- Simon McAuley
(Worthy of mention, Simon is the most knowledgeable wine educator and sales professional at Del Dotto Vineyards. A Kiwi, Simon won the 2009 national competition, Best Sommelier of New Zealand)
RYAN QUIGLEY | email@example.com
“I had the pleasure learning from Brandon St. Martin, as I worked alongside him.
Brandon is the kind of guy, that, when asked to come up with a solution to a problem, he will return with a stack of amazing ideas and a coffee. Always an innovator, and, even more rare, an excellent collaborator, Brandon brings a set of tools to the table that no one else has… and shares them.
He makes every connection count, every smile genuine, and, leaves every place exponentially better than it was before. He recognizes the best in everyone and helps them shine. In high pressure, sticky situations, Brandon shows his unique ability to stay witty and fluid, while appearing seemingly unshakable.
It was a bittersweet day when I found out that he would be pursuing a new project. I knew we’d be losing so much talent, but, on a personal level, I was excited to see what he would come up with next. If you are lucky enough to have Brandon fall into your lap, consider it a game changer.”
- Ryan Quigley
(Worthy of mention, Ryan is an exceptionally talented and (equally-impressive) self-taught executive chef and general manager at a boutique resort in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Ryan gleans his culinary insights and skill sets from travels to over 40 countries…and counting…)