The wine industry is a very lucrative business to get into but a very hard business to get into as well. Â Like a lot of aspects in the culinary industry, a savoir faire is needed along with excellent contacts, in this case to grape brokers who could provide you with top quality grapes for wine-making. Getting access to this is nearly impossible without a lot of resources and a well-known family name in the region you're trying to grow grapes in. If that region is as prestigious an area as the Burgundy region in France, it can almost like a dream to be able to succeed in the winemaking business.
But there are times when passion and perseverance can overcome any obstacle that may be placed before you. Enter: Ray Walker. Mr. Walker is a 30-year-old (very young by industry standards) American winemaker in none other than Burgundy, France. He is grower and producer of Masion Ilan wines, his recently started wine company started after deciding to change careers and pursue his passion in Burgundy wine. But Walker doesn't produce just any wine; he produces some of the rarest, highest-quality wine in the region, Le Chambertin and Charmes-Chambertin- the first American to do so.
Without prior experience in wine-making, besides reading 19th-century French wine texts, Walker quit his Merrill Lynch job and with the support of his wife and family, moved to France to pursue his passion, Burgundy wine. The result was the production of a highly-acclaimed Chambertin wine whose first vintage of 11 1/2 barrels was sold out almost immediately after he finished making it.
To read more about his fairytale-come-true story, visit the New York Times here.
Who said Americans can't hold their own in matters of the French?