The Emmy Award-winning sports commentator Jim Nantz is teaming up with Peter Deutsch, CEO of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits to produce the Sonoma-based wine brand named “The Calling.”
Nantz picked a smart partner. Deutsch is well known for his success in launching Australia’s Yellow Tail, the number one imported wine brand in the United States.
Do you believe in serendipity? Nantz and Deutsch do. They said that’s what brought them together at a restaurant one night in Connecticut. And after many brainstorming sessions, they decided it was a calling for both of them at this stage in their life to try something new.
The duo picked California winemaker Marco DiGiulio to shop around for vineyards. They eventually settled on grapes from Dutton Ranch Vineyards in the Russian River Valley to produce two Chardonnays: Dutton Ranch ($30) and Jewell Vineyard ($40), each aged 12 months. Two red wines from the Alexander Valley complete the portfolio: a 2009 Rio Lago Cabernet Sauvignon aged 24 months ($35) and 2009 Alexander Valley “Our Tribute” Bordeaux-style blend, aged 30 months ($60).
Nantz said he simply listened to the message that his heart was whispering. In 2008 he wrote a book about his father (“Always By My Side”) and his fight against Alzheimer, and that journey encouraged him to pursue things he has dreamed of doing. It turns out that producing wine was number #2 on his bucket list.
Nantz and Deutsch said they hope the bottling will encourage others to tap into their calling.