I started F H Wines in 2008, just months before the economy crashed.  Rough beginnings but things turned around about 12 months later, and I have been lucky to see a fairly steady increase in sales every year.  

My career in the wine business started as a receptionist at Martine’s Wines.  A French friend of mine had heard that Martine was looking for a sales manager but the truth was somewhat different.  No matter: I needed the money and this was a way to keep my French language alive.  Luckily, I quickly became responsible of logistics, container consolidation, French winemaker relations, inventory control and sales coordination.  It should be noted that I was dead set against becoming one of those pushy, talkative, self-involved salespeople that I was regularly in contact with.  

But in my next gig with Adventures In Wine, I started selling wine part-time to “see if I might like it”.  I did.  In fact, I really enjoyed getting out of the office, which is odd for a Taurus like me who values his comfort level.  

Then came a rare opportunity to sell wine full-time at Chambers & Chambers.  This is where I truly learned how to set goals and “ask for the order”.  I stayed on for 5 years and really improved my tasting skills, my knowledge of wines and my sales technique.
 
In fact, I developed a strong attraction to California wine and decided that my next gig simply had to involve tasting and selling domestic wines.  That next gig was Vigneron Imports, a very solid family-owned French wines portfolio.  Vigneron Imports is however not quite suited to carry a selection of California wines, so I decided to go solo and pick a couple of wineries that I would enjoy showing off to my existing customers.  I was now an American citizen and was starting to embrace my new identity.

From “a couple of wineries” in 2008, I quickly added a few and the F H Wines portfolio grew to 6, 10, then 17 wineries.  For the past couple of years, I have maintained the size of my book at 17 and feel that this is just the right amount.  

We shall see what the future holds in terms of growth.