Asheville, NC area & Landrum, SC
A Member of Grapevine’s Family since March, 2010
Tom Leiner brings a passion to everything he touches.
Why do something, and not do it with passion?
Born in NYC, Tom’s first experience with wines were Dad’s German Liebfraumilchs and Zeller Schwartze Katz…oh, and the occasional Yago Sangria before the high school dances.
Fast forward to a 1961 Chateau Latour, and Tom’s life changed. A college mentor/wine lover had some “leftover wine” from a tasting of First Growth Bordeaux. This began a study of wine which continues to this day.
Stints working retail in NYC, (Morrell’s NYC, and Pop’s in Island Park) several trips to the New York and California wine countries continued Tom’s interest. Those were the days when there were a dozen great Napa Cabernets. Imagine a typical Saturday at Pop’s, three in the afternoon, and a regular customer walks in with a bottle of 1970 Chateau Petrus and says, “I’ll open mine, if you open yours” pointing to the 1970 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon on the shelf. $75.00. A great place to learn about wine.
Fast forward to day jobs at several NYC ad agencies, working on the Ruffino, Sterling Vineyards and Moet accounts. Travel, expense accounts and more wine.
Fast forward to St. Thomas, USVI, selling the best of California, Spain, France and Australia to the sailing elite in the Caribbean @ West Indies Trading Co.
Hurricane Marilyn in 1995 sent Tom to St. John, and later to Asheville and Nashville. (the Wine Guy/ Grand Cru) He also worked as an salesperson for a “boutique” distributor selling the best of Napa as well as Spain and France (Eric Solomon) He loves to cook, pairing regional foods with wines that belong with them. He is a true wine lover, but not a geek. A small cellar to share with friends is all he needs.
Tom’s other love is music, and he can be found anywhere from NYC to Charleston, Austin to Asheville, as a guitar player/music director.
And he is recently engaged and loves helping people pick the perfect wine…of which Grapevine has lots.
- Napa and Sonoma Valley, California
- Long Island and New York state
- Rhone Valley, France
- Tuscany and Umbria, Italy