Navigating the Global Wine Market with Precision
Growing up in the center of the Los Angeles entertainment industry, Trevor Sheehan had little exposure to the world of vineyards and winemaking. He spent much of his time on the Paramount Pictures lot where his father was a major league television executive, and his mother created commercials for many of the studio’s movies. The family home was transformed almost weekly into various locations for movie and TV productions. After watching the walls of the living room being splatted with fake blood as Kiefer Sutherland battled terrorists in his “24” TV series, Trevor would grab breakfast from the craft services truck in the neighbor’s driveway.
While getting a master’s degree in business from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Trevor attended a taping of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show and told the comedian that he planned to work in accounting. Leno responded, “Ah accounting! The fast cars, the thrills, the travel to exotic locations,” which left him wondering if he should pursue a more exciting career. Soon after, the time he was spending at a local wine shop began to steer him in a new direction.
At the shop, he joined up with a savvy group of oenophiles who expanded his knowledge of California Cabernet and French Bordeaux. His passion for the beverages inspired visits to producers and vine- yards in Burgundy and other wine regions in France where he studied various wine- making techniques. On one trip, he was invited by the winemaker of the legendary Romanee Conti vineyard for a visit where he tasted the Domaine’s ’07 and other vintages from barrel.
After securing his master’s degree, he took a job at Grant Thorton in Dallas. While enjoying a Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast, he called the number on the bottle’s cork, which ignited a friendship with the winemaker who encouraged him to visit Northern California. The visit inspired a move to Napa, where he was soon making 100 cases of Carneros Chardonnay that he sold by driving the cases around to local retailers and restaurants.
Today, Trevor’s Precision Wines produces upwards of a quarter-million cases per year. The company’s top selling brands such as the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons under the Navigator and Precision labels, and the Oakville and Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignons under the Acclaimed label are sold all over the United States and Europe, and in 15 dif- ferent countries around the world, including the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, and the Dominican Republic.
“I feel lucky to have a product that has taken me to fascinating places and given me the chance to form bonds with amazing people from varied backgrounds,” Trevor says.
“No matter how great our differences, wine seems to transcend almost all nationalities and cultures and gives us a common language.”
Trevor attributes Precision’s success to the fact that each one of his brands offers consistently great wine at an attractive price point with distinguished packaging that’s tailored to appeal to the intended markets. And to think that it’s all thanks to Jay Leno.
Article By: Linda Sheehan