Born and bred in Northern California, Jim has an intimate love and respect for the land he was raised in. He loves spending time close to home, which is more exciting than it sounds. Water like rivers, lakes, and oceans are his playground, and loves the fact that in the same day, he can shoot up the hill to throw fresh snowballs in the snowy Sierras.
Jim grew up with music in his heart, life and soul. From his mother’s deep, and persistent, love of disco, to the saxophones, trumpets, and clarinets he watched his father play as a child, music dictated the flow of his life until wine came along. As he has gotten swept up in the river of wine that is now his day to day existence, music is always tugging at his heart strings.
Friends and Family
Perpetually the Mamma’s boy, Jim takes great time and effort to stay connected to those he loves most. His small but busy family keeps him rushing from airport to airport, town to town, to pick up Aunts, Uncles and cousins from all over the country. With the small size of his family, Jim has selected many of his friends as honorary family members.
Wine came to Jim as early it legally could, and it altered his career path to one dedicated to wine. From his current position as a sommelier in Napa Valley to that first special sip of wine that started it all, Jim has played nearly every roll in the wine industry. He has worked in restaurants and wine shops of the highest caliber, and has carried hoses and shoveled tanks out with the best wine making teams in Napa.
Jim has the gift of gab, and knows how to hold an audience. Sometimes called ‘Nice Guy Jim’ his gentle nature makes him everyone’s best friend within minutes of meeting. Always with the big smile and a funny anecdote, his genuine personality and warmheartedness translates into a great fit for social media. Jim’s natural charm and charisma, combined with his passions for sharing all that is the wine way of life, make him a great teacher and philosophizer across any platform.
First job, a small vegan restaurant in Jim’s native Sacramento called ‘Eat Your Vegetables’. Current job, Lead Sommelier at Tra Vigne in St. Helena. Highlights include The Slocum House restaurant in Old Fair Oaks, David Berkely’s Fine Wine and Specialty Food in Sacramento. Now living in Napa for 5+ years, it all started at Niebaum-Coppola’s Rubicon Estate Winery. Jim immersed himself in the large operation there, from valet out front, to rolling barrels out back, and everything between. More recently, he has professionally represented numerous wineries in Napa in the social media realm.
Jim’s motivation and dedication to wine comes from the drive to both educate and entertain. The vast knowledge of wine and service in his arsenal, is there to give back to the world it came from. His ability to explain complex scientific and cultural wine related information in digestible and relatable facts and anecdotes makes wine more accessible to the whole world.