The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2017

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94  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2017 His SCHEID of the Story "Do you like my shirt?" asks Al Scheid, Founder & Chairman of the Board, Scheid Vineyards. "I bought it just for today, in 1982." I laugh. Scheid's daughter, Heidi Scheid, Senior Vice- President, Scheid Vineyards, laughs too, after a loving eye-roll. The pair stand before a wooden table in Al's backyard in the Pacific Palisades, a tony suburb on the Los Angeles coast. The table casually displays a number of wines from various brands. Six brands, to be exact, which is a lot to produce, unless you're part of the Scheid family and own 4,000 acres of vineyards in Monterey. I pull out a chair to taste through most of the Scheid portfolio (there are eight brands in total) and listen to the Harvard Business School grad tell his fascinating tale, or at least part of it. Scheid's personal narrative is a mod- ern-day rags-to-riches story, starting in a coal-mining town in Ohio. He's even written his autobiography, Breaking Out of Beerport. But I am mostly interested in the part involving wine, and this begins in 1971, with the birth of the Monterey Farming Corporation. "People came to me who wanted to build vineyards for tax purposes, to write them off against their income, which, in the early '70s, you could do," Al begins. "As an investment banker, I set up the partnership and got every- thing organized, but then we couldn't find anybody to run it. Don't forget, this is 1971-72, and this industry was largely at that time family-run . . . And so, out of desperation really, we decided that I would run it, especially since I had already put some land in escrow. "So, I woke up one morning, and Al Scheid, Founder & Chairman of the Board, Scheid Vineyards, at his home in Pacific Palisades, CA. AL SCHEID OF SCHEID VINEYARDS, HONORED AS "LEADER OF THE YEAR" by Jessie Birschbach / photos by Cal Bingham Scheid Vineyard 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé and Scheid Vineyards 2014.

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