CHAPTER 4
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established in 1994

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good luck with your new business as a consultant – if there are in which we can do business together, we are always interested, Best wishes, Jamie
— Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head, Sotheby's Wine
Well done for the 18 years, what a spell !
Good luck in your new projects
Best regards,
Anthony
— Anthony Hanson, Master of Wine
Please know that we will always have the light on for you, here in the western hills of Oakville. Stay in touch.
— Don Weaver, Director, Harlan Estate
Good luck Scott! Best—Fritz
— Fritz Hatton, Owner Arietta Wines
glad to see you are starting a new business that should do really well in the marketplace !!
— Bob Golbahar, Owner, 2020 Wine Merchants
Congratulations on your move. Change is a driving force for improvement.
— Eddie Gelsman, Owner, Wine Library, Inc.
Good to hear from you Scott and the exciting news! Keep in touch...we have to revisit my cellar which is bursting at the seams!
— Anynomous, client since 2004
Congratulations Scott and greetings from Barcelona. I look forward to catching up when I return.
— Anynomous, client since 1997
Congratulations on the good times ahead!
— Mark Beaven, CEO, Founder of Advanced Alternative Media Inc.
You deserve an award for 18 years of service!
Keep in touch!
— Linda David, Executive Director at Tower Cancer Research Foundation
Congratulations Scott! Looking forward to your new business.
— Scott Baker, President, RELM STUDIO

CHAPTERS is as about my journey with wine as much as it is about life itself.

Like anyone reading my story I experience evolution, maybe even revolution. We learn, we develop, we extend ourselves, we evolve.

In the beginning, fresh out of university, I travelled abroad for a period. Living for a time in Bordeaux, Frankfurt, and ultimately a spell in Stockholm. At each juncture, to the best of my then income could reasonably accommodate,  the hedonistic pleasures of adult beverages played their part in my young adulthood. Upon returning to California I was fortunate to realize a career in the wine industry in some capacity was possibly a rewarding one. The travel, the tasting experiences, the people, the stories behind every label were immensely intoxicating to me. Now with some 25 years experience behind me I look back at these moments as CHAPTERS in my life.

CHAPTER 1: Learning The Trade

In the mid-1990s I started my career as an Assistant Manager at Cost Plus World Market as a wine buyer for their newly opened West Los Angeles store and again at Woodland Hills.

My formative years of accelerated wine study came when I accepted a Senior Salesman role at The Wine House in West LA. Mastery of a 17,000 sq.ft. sales floor with over 8000+ wine skus was how one cut their teeth back in the day. We tasted 5-6 days a week, purchased wine from all the major and minor distributors - we were one of the largest accounts in all of California, by far the largest wine market in the U.S. I was their youngest hire in a Senior position at age 27, my mentors in the business were among the most accomplished in the business: wine mavens like Nate Chroman, Steve Wallace (Wally’s), Roy Kavin (Greenblatt’s Deli), Dave Breitstein (Duke of Burbon), The Hanson Family (Hi-Times), and mentors such as Dan Fredman, Jamie Koren, Mike Greene, Jim Knight and legendary duo of Mark Estrin and Chip Hammack were among those who helped me learn this business. That latter group helped many of LA’s soon-to-be most experienced wine professionals launch their career - The Tasting Group That Launched the L.A. Wine Scene. My capabilities eventually rose to the level of managing the store’s old & rare consignment business.

CHAPTER 2: Refining My Knowledge

In 2001 I accepted the Lead Specialist’s role at Christie’s, Beverly Hills. Back then Christie’s had a 50+ staff supporting multiple sales categories in Beverly Hills. Wine was one of four major sale categories back then. I often say it is at Christie’s where I learned how to be a true professional in the wine business. My second day on the job was at the home of Paul Anka in Beverly Hills and learning at the feet of an auction legend, Fritz Hatton. I was running a team of four back then and the job sometimes required long hours - it took twice the volume of wine then to generate the same $$ as auctions by the end of that decade. We held four auctions per year as well as helped to fill eight sales per year held in New York. My travels in search of great wine took me from the Holmby Hills to Berkeley Hills, from Houston to Chicago and eventually to the cool chalk cellars outside of London and the sticky humidity of Kowloon. Over this time I worked with some of the largest buyers and sellers of wine on the planet.

CHAPTER 3: The Application of Knowledge


By 2009, I’m living in New York has Head of Sales for Christie’s when an opportunity to learn the burgeoning online wine trade at Benchmark Wine Group in Napa, California came across my desk. I came on board as their first Vice President. My charge was to help grow sales and revamp their acquisitions model. I spent the better part of a year researching the potential to launch their online auction division. Over my tenure our team achieve its longest growth period to that time. My wine acquisitions helped increase sales by 66 percent over my 17 months there and helped the team achieve five straight quarterly bonuses, a record. Benchmark was a period of exponential maturation for me and I was extremely proud to help spur that growth for them.

Christie’s came calling...

In 2010 the Hong Kong wine market was on fire and Christie’s asked if I would comeback. I was offered the opportunity to run their new Hong Kong Wine Department. I was in the middle of a $2M deal for Benchmark and I didn’t want to let the team down...after some soul searching I politely passed on the offer. But that wasn’t the last I would hear from them, 6 months later Christie’s inquired about my interest again...but this time they offered me my old office in Beverly Hills. I accepted and helped them to launch their first ever online wine auctions called Signature Cellars.

Over my years at Christie’s I participated in many landmark auctions: the original California Only Auctions, The Extraordinary Private Cellar of Doris Duke, The Quintessential Modern Cellar, the first Los Angeles Evening Sale, the first (2003) & second (2011) Historic Chateau Latour ex-cellars auctions and Grand Crus Part II: The Collection of Christen Sveaas. I was proud to be part of the team that invented The Evening Sale concept (100 lots/$1 million+) that was copied by all our competitors and set many US and World Records and I helped launch the online strategy that remains as a model for high quality, high value online auctions.

I’ve had the great fortune to advise some of the most famous clients in fine wine (Nicole Kidman, Nicolas Cage, Paul Anka, Henry Kravis, Tom Siebel) and some of the most prolific (Aubrey McClendon, Baron Hans von Staff-Reitzenstein, Christen Sveaas). My long career spans the most notorious (Rudy Kurniawan, Mark Anderson, Elliott Broidy) and I studied at the homes of some legendary collectors, consumers and winery owners. (Dr. Alejandro Zaffaroni, Nancy Reagan, Jerrold Perenchio, Hewitt Crane, Fritz Hatton, Joan Kroc, George Caloyannidis). Each of these experiences and legendary collections have been the basis of a long and storied career.

I’ve arrived at the next evolution. It’s time to take the leap and do for myself and our investors what I have long provided for my clients and employers. The time has come to turn the page and start…

CHAPTER 4: Becoming An Owner

Chap4, LLC | Wine Asset Advisory

Chap4, LLC | Fine + Rare Supply (Summer 2019)

Chap5, LLC | Private Storage (Summer 2019)

Help me to write the first pages of this next chapter…

If you made it this far into my history I thank you for taking the time to get to know me. I hope to meet you and get to learn of your interests soon.