2015’s Wine Mavericks

by Natasha Wolff | June 24, 2015 12:36 pm

Abe Schoener
The philosopher on a mission to plant vineyards in big cities

The former classics professor is one of the wine industry’s most respected risk-takers. He’s known for The Scholium Project, a winery that takes an unconventional approach: His three-member team forgoes fancy machines and stomps on nearly every batch of grapes themselves. (The wines[1] are served at Michelin-starred restaurants like Per Se.) Schoener’s latest passion project involves raising $2 million to build an “urban winery”—and eventually a vineyard—in Central Los Angeles.

Michael Evans
The entrepreneur who turns dreams of owning a vineyard into a reality

Michael Evans had recently completed a stint as a consultant on John Kerry’s presidential campaign when he visited Argentina for the first time. He planned for a short respite—and never left. Evans purchased land in Mendoza, started making wine and soon enough his vino-loving friends wanted in. His company, the Vines of Mendoza, has since facilitated the winemaking[2] dream for 150 clients. He recently opened a $16 million resort on the property to host owners and guests.

Michelle Reeves
The Pinot Noir producer who snags wine lovers a spot at the top of the list

Michelle Reeves’ passion for Pinot Noir inspired her to quit a coveted gig in the entertainment world and buy a winery[3] in Napa—all at the age of 27. Now, after nine years at the helm of boutique Pinot Noir producer David Family Wines, Reeves is splitting her time with another entrepreneurial venture: I Know The Winemaker, an exclusive membership club that lets oenophiles skip decade-long winery wait lists and instantly purchase current releases of rare wines.

Bill Koch
The billionaire on a crusade to fight wine fraud

After growing suspicious that he’d been duped by a counterfeit-wine scam, businessman Bill Koch opened his prized cellar to a team of authenticators who determined that $2 million worth of his rare vintages were fakes. To prevent others from sharing his fate, Koch has spent an estimated $25 million on private investigators to expose offending auction houses. His most recent victory came in July 2014: After a six-year lawsuit, a prominent wine auctioneer agreed to amend its policies to better protect consumers.

Main photo illustrated by Daniel Hertzberg

  1. wines: http://dujour.com/lifestyle/popular-wine-myths-trends-debunked/
  2. winemaking: http://dujour.com/lifestyle/popular-wine-myths-trends-debunked/
  3. winery: http://dujour.com/cities/laura-maniec-corkbuzz-best-southern-restaurant-wine-lists/

Source URL: https://dujour.com/life/wine-experts-entrepreneurs-producers/