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Man on a Mission

Many thought Jimmy Mancbach was an arrogant bastard.

But he had every right to be. His friends, of which there are legions, will attest to this arrogance of his, and then laugh about it and say, “That was Jimmy.” When you know what he knew about fine wine and fine food and fine people and had the fire in him to go along with those qualities, no wonder he turned out to be exactly that way.

The world always finds the perfect place for people like Jimmy. And if it didn’t, he would have found the place himself. As he did. Such is the destiny of people like Jimmy Mancbach. They are outsize personalities; forces of nature; people larger than life with appetites to match. It is always just a matter of time before they come to rest where they are destined to be. For him it was the fine wine and food arena. But we’re getting way ahead of ourselves. Jimmy’s story starts about fifty years ago, give or take. Two journeys were beginning. One was in the California wine country; the other in New Jersey. A handful of passionate and visionary pioneers, aspiring to recreate the quality wines of their European ancestors, set out in search of fertile soils and an accommodating climate. As we know, their quest would lead them to Northern California where they would establish wine growing regions that would one day rival the legendary areas of France, Italy and Spain.

While the California Wine Country was developing, so was a young boy who was enjoying his childhood in Metuchen, New Jersey. Neither of them could have imagined the collision course they were on. Highly charged individuals never have it easy. It’s not in their nature. Jimmy was no exception. His life education was not going to take a clear path. Always devoted to the appreciation of great food and wine, Jimmy walked into a New Jersey wine store that stocked only California vintages. He looked around, and then blithely asked the owner where “the good stuff” was. Arrogant? Maybe. But, it was the mid-70s. The wine merchant, a very knowledgeable man, guided Jimmy over to his extensive stock of California wines and said, “This is the ‘good stuff’.” Jimmy stared at the unfamiliar bottles, expecting to see only French wines. Something happened that day. It was a rude and happy awakening and would order the rest of Jimmy Mancbach’s life. It ignited exhilaration. Jimmy would travel endlessly to California and around the globe, learning the art of fine wine making. He scoured the land for the most unique wines being produced. Along the way he developed the uncanny ability to recognize a vintner with true passion, desire and skill and then would form relationships with these craftsmen and help nurture their success. He shared their vision and enthusiasm to create the highest quality wines and believed in hard work by ethical, generous individuals.

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