I was a wine broker at the time and Ed told me about this fun little project that he and his fishing buddy, Burt Williams, had been doing in a tub in Burt’s garage. “Oh, I want in on that,” I said. “Well, you have to come up to the Allen Ranch and we’ll get you on the list,” said Ed. So, I went to the Allen Ranch (where the Williams Selyem wines are still made today), and both Burt and Ed were there.
Burt was sitting at the desk in his blue jean overalls with his red flannel shirt hanging out. “I suppose you want to get on the list,” Burt said, looking me up and down to see if I was worthy. “Oh yes sir, that’s why I’m here!” I said. “Well, you probably want to try some wine first…why don’t you grab that glass on the barrel over there,” Burt retorted. I had never seen a California wine with such concentration. I swirled the glass a couple of times, took a quick sniff and the impression raised my eyebrows. “Think you’re on to something here,” I nervously replied. Then I tasted the mind-blowing Russian River Pinot Noir and blurted out, “Wow! I’ve never had anything like this, it’s fantastic! YES! I want on the list!” And with that, Burt slid over a shoebox half filled with empty index cards and picked up one of the cards. “Here. Fill this out.” My response was to grab one of my business cards out of my pocket and hand it to him. “I’ll make it easy on you. You can just transfer the information,” I said. Mr. Williams gave me a look, took my card, grabbed a stapler and quickly stapled the business card to the blank index card and tossed it into the shoebox and said, “You’re on the list.”
I am happy, grateful, and excited to be part of the Williams Selyem family and team!