40 Under 40: America's Tastemakers
Clockwise from left:
Nicholas Miller, 33
VP of Sales and Marketing, Bien Nacido Vineyards, Santa Barbara, CA
Miller is barely 33 years old and already has emerged as a powerhouse in California wine. As effective head of his family’s Bien Nacido, French Camp and Solomon Hills vineyards, he not only grows some of the state’s most coveted fruit, he actively encourages a new generation of young winemakers to seek it out.
Karl Wente, 36
Winemaker, Wente Vineyards, Livermore, CA
The fifth-generation winemaker and head of winemaking operations for 130-year-old Wente Vineyards, the guitar- playing, yoga-posing Karl oversees thousands of acres of sustainably- farmed estate vineyards from the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Seco appellations. He’s credited with creating the family’s limited- production, best-of-the- best Nth Degree brand, in addition to finessing its Wente, Double Decker, Entwine and Murietta’s Well wines.
Damon Boelte, 31
Radio Host on the The Speakeasy & Bar Director, Prime Meats, Brooklyn
At farm-to-table restaurant Prime Meats, Boelte has earned his stripes with unique and interesting cocktails, often spiked with bitters (at least one memorable drink calls for an entire 20-ml bottle of Underberg). In addition, Boelte has hosted The Speakeasy on Heritage Radio Network for the past two years—featuring bartenders talking shop and tossing shots in a most unfettered environment, making listeners feel like they too have drawn up a stool at the bar.
Tyler Baillet, 33
President and Founder, Second Glass, Boston
Second Glass’s Wine Riot series—the interactive, educational wine events that specifically cater to the younger set—got started five years ago when Balliet was working an office job during the day and a wine shop at night. Realizing that “young wine drinkers had questions about wine, and the producers and brands had all the answers,” Balliet and his business partner brought the two together in 2009. Today, Wine Riot boasts wine tasting events in six cities, utilizing mobile apps, social media and fun touches like wine tattoos and photo booths to get the Millennial generation engaged in learning about wine.