Auberge du Soleil can be a bit intimidating, in a famous Napa Valley sort of way. Everything is approximately perfect and the wait staff all have more degrees than I do. (I only have one so admittedly that is a low hurdle). Amidst the refined, sophisticated, Michelin-starred dining space resided one Joseph Mora. While he was utterly professional and very specifically attired he also had a twinkle in his eye. (As a person of Irish descent this always puts me in mind of Leprechauns). Joe made the formality of Auberge instantaneously approachable and so, as they say, we hit it off. I have since met his wife Genette and son Gabriel (who has the cutest curls in history) and enjoyed a day up at our winery and a dinner at our stunning neighborhood roadhouse Zazu. (Hi Dusky, Brian, KK and Jordan…save us some pig!). Joe and his family are a delight and remind why I am so grateful to be in the wine business. Joe writes much more eloquently than I do and you can read his take on how we met by clicking through to his article below.