A Member of Grapevine's Family since June, 1991
In 1991, while teaching high school history and geography, Michael helped his mother start Grapevine Distributors. At the time Michael thought he was just assisting her in getting her new career started after raising him and his brothers.
After one year of working part-time to get the warehouse open and sales off the ground Michael realized that wine distribution could be a fun and interesting job. He quit teaching and headed back up to Chapel Hill, home of his alma mater, to start selling wine full time in summer of 1992.
Michael enjoyed selling wine right from the start because he was out every day visiting people who loved wine, geography, and history. Michael remembers how excited he was when he sold five cases in an entire week. He also remembers, as his business grew that year, how disappointed he was when he only sold 15 cases. Little did he know that in only a few years Michael's whole family would be working together at Grapevine selling wine across two states.
He never would have guessed that twenty years later they would be employing nearly 30 people and representing over 100 suppliers from around the world. Michael insists that the great things about this job are that he continues to learn more about world history and geography through wine along with the opportunity to travel to those places to meet and learn from the people themselves.
Through his experiences with Grapevine, Michael now has friends all over the world. Michael's favorite part about his role in Grapevine is educating consumers and employees about the wines he has tasted, regions he has visited, and families he has met.
Michael can't seem to get rid of the high school teacher tendencies. Even more important though is what he and the founding family have accomplished at Grapevine for their employees. When teaching high school, it is easy to see what one has accomplished in the world as students graduate and then bump into each other years later at their job or with their family. In selling wine, it is a bit harder to see what kind of impact is made on the world.
Michael finds it personally gratifying to know that from a small family business, they have created nearly 30 jobs that the employees enjoy their work, and Grapevine is supporting other family businesses around the world.