Intriguing Change Agent
Marcus fell in love with the food and wine scene of Napa Valley in the late 1990s when working at The Kitchen in Sacramento. As the manager and one of the wine buyers, he was very proud of the Wine Spectator award they received for the wine list he had curated. While building The Kitchen, he simultaneously worked for Paul Bullard as a Wine Rep and handled 36 different wineries in the Napa Valley representing legendary winemakers such as Philippe Melka, Heidi Barrett, Helen Turley, and Celia Welch, to name a few. In 2005, Marcus branched out on his own and he and his wife opened a restaurant called L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen, a wine bar, retail space and cocktail lounge with farm-to-table food.
Marcus has been pivotal in the transformation of St. Helena’s food and wine scene. He was one of the original partners and GM of Goose & Gander, which introduced the mixology concept to Napa Valley. In 2015, he accepted a position to develop one of the most exciting and promising properties in Napa Valley, Brasswood Estate. Over the past several years, he has turned this property into a lifestyle destination with a world-class restaurant, premium winemaking facility, tasting rooms, and an art gallery.
Most recently, he was brought on board by winemaker Joe Wagner to help develop and launch downtown Napa’s new neighborhood restaurant, AVOW.
Marcus’s two decade tenure consulting people and businesses all over Northern California has made him realize that it is all about relationship building and creating the right team for the right projects. If he learns about something one wishes to do or create, he will do what it takes to help make it happen.
He says with a smile, “Be careful of what you say because someone could be listening.”
Even with his busy schedule running Brasswood, Marcus is always looking for somewhere else he can make an impact in the community. When he is not putting in time as the Chair of the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce or as Board member of the Boys & Girls Club of St.Helena/Calistoga, he is working on the second edition of his book “100 Things to Do in Napa Before You Die”.
Article By: Laura Larson