After a long academic journey that included a BS, an MS and nearly a JD, Richard finally found his way to his real love: Vino. While traveling in Italy, he fell in love with the country’s dining tradition and came to regard wine “as a grocery and not a luxury.” He was the wine director at The Little Nell in Aspen from 2000 to 2008. In the spring of 2003, Richard passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Masters Exam on the first attempt, the ninth person ever to do so. He co-founded his first wine label Betts & Scholl in 2003 and also co-founded Scarpetta Wines and “cc:” Wines. Today, Richard is guiding his highly-regarded mezcal project, Sombra, as well as this wine project which includes “Saint Glinglin” from Bordeaux and “my ESSENTIAL” from California and Provence. Richard is also the author of The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert, a kids’ book for adults.
This is it – if you had to have one and only one, this is the one it should be. Making good on our mantra of “wine as a grocery, not a luxury”, we’re producing extraordinary wines that can be, and frankly, ought to be, consumed every day. In each case, we’re looking for the essence of the place and expressing it in an ultra delicious wine. So far, we’re doing a red and a rosé that we LOVE; after all, that’s the point. Heck, if you won’t drink it, we’re prepared to drink it all so we might as well make it how we like it. We’re also exploring other ”essential” ideas around the world so who knows what is to come.
We swear Bordeaux IS cool again. In fact, it never got un-cool, it just got un-affordable in a big way and we think that stinks. So, this is a deliberate effort to make something that doesn’t stink, literally or figuratively. How do we do it? Well, it starts with an idea. Ours is to make soil-driven wines of place and elegance — the way they were made more commonly in a time gone by. These are the wines we love and we know that this happens via hard work in the vineyards and basic diligence in the winery (also known as just not screwing it up). We’ve also enlisted great partners in the Thienpont family. These guys have been working in Bordeaux for centuries and one can safely assume that they’ve learned their way around the place. All in all, we’re really excited about our little stable of very fine wines from that singular, special place. Importantly, they’re also all really affordable (remember the grocery idea?). When we shared the vision with a friend, she replied “Saint Glinglin” (meaning “when pigs fly”) and we were on our way!