105 thoughts on “Guest Comments

  1. Hello Ray,
    my name is Peer Reiss. I have been working from may 2008 til december 2009 at the domaine Meo-Camuzet. Jean Nicolas told me about your new Négoce business and I would like to come by once you’re available. I think you might still be moving your things from the states, so let me know once you’re available.

    All the best


  2. Hello Peer,
    sorry to be getting to this late. How is your project advancing? We are al moving in in Nuits. Drop by when you wish, I’ll be sure to show the wines to you.


  3. Great article on Bloomberg today. Good luck with everything – I look forward to following your story!

  4. Thank you Maura,
    I’m glad that you enjoyed the article. Craig is an excellent writer and very generous in the coverage which he gave to Maison Ilan. I couldn’t be happier.


  5. Hi Ray

    Saw an article on what you are doing on a email newsletter which we get here in Australia, called Daily Wine News. I have to say I am very jealous! If I knew that it was possible to have done what you have done I probably wouldn’t have emigrated to Australia to set up a vineyard and winery! Anyway best of luck with it all and I will enjoy reading your progress. By the way, can you tell me who made those open top wooden vats that you bought and what size are they? Some people here take the heads off barrels to ferment in them but I reckon it would be alot easier with the smallish vats you have!

    Best wishes

  6. Hello James,
    Marc Grenier made the tanks. While there are a few tonnelleries in Burgundy who also make wooden tanks (cuve bois) or foudres, there aren’t but a few who only produce wooden tanks. As the article mentioned, he has some fairly demanding clients that want the best. He is the best, there is zero doubt in my mind.


  7. Ray.

    Congratulations! I wish I knew this last December. We probably drove right by the winery.

    Good luck young man,

    David Niederauer

  8. Hello David,
    it has been too long! How have you been? I moved over the wines from Saint Aubin in January. We’re located just around the corner from Morin and just a bit further down from Boisset. Do let me know when you a here next. It would be a pleasure to open a few bottles with you after showing you the winery.

  9. Ray:

    Thanks to the heads up from Bill Nanson I saw the article from the Sydney Morning Herald. Congrats. You deserve it.

    You’re living the dream Ray. A couple of our mutual bulletin board friends had mentioned you had moved to burgundy but nobody ever told me why. Now I know.

    Don Cornwell

  10. Don,
    thanks for reading the article. Sydney Morning Herald? Its making the rounds then, I still cannot believe it. I hope you stick around to watch the progress. There are Many exciting things still on the horizon! This is just the beginning.


  11. Ray,
    Amazing press… I am so happy for you and the wines!!! I know that everyone is cheering you on! Can’t wait to try and buy some of the first release… I know the crew at BP will want to get some… :)

    Take care… we wish you the best of luck!


  12. Hi Ray,

    Really surprised and glad to receive your phone call last Saturday.

    Looks like you’re getting more interest from the press coverage all over the world – I reckon I’ll have to put my ‘futures’ order in soon to beat the queue!

    Also noticed that you’ve chimed in at one of the Aust wine forums. Hope to hear more from you there too.

    Please feel free to contact me & I’ll show you around in Singapore whenever you drop by.

    Wishing you all the best with the 2010 vintage.

    Raymond Lim

  13. Thanks for the comment Raymond! I’ll make sure to give you another call down the road when I’m in Singapore. And, the coverage has been nothing short of amazing. I took a look back at some of the older posts I made while living in California and there is no way I saw any of this coming. Never in my wildest dreams.

    As for futures….things are moving quite well. :)


  14. I recently read an article about your winery. I wish you lots of success and i can’t wait for your first release.

    Ron DelHomme

  15. Dear Ray,

    I just wanted to pass on my very best wishes to you and your family. What you are doing is truly inspiring and i wish you every luck with it. I am a banker in London dealing with the daily grind and pressures and long to undertake a similar endeavour to you. I just hope that it happens and would be happy with half of your success.

    I visit France regularly and would love to pop by and say hello at some point if that is ok?

    All my best wishes,


  16. I read the interesting article about your winery in the 18 August edition of our local newspaper, “The Sacramento Bee.” It is especially interesting to me because I will be visiting France next month, staying for two nights in Beaune on 21 and 22 September. My friend and I look forward to visiting your winery.

  17. Dear Ray,

    We will be visiting cote de nuits with 6 wine (burgundy) friends for a tasting at several domaines and after reading some good reviews on your wines and your life changing story we would like to drop by and taste your wines.

    Would that be possible we will be around on 5 or 6 November



  18. My wife and I visited Ray this weekend…he could not have been a more gracious host, even though we were an hour late from a delicious lunch (Ferme la Ruchotte!). So glad to meet someone with the passion and talent for beautiful Bourgogne vin. Good luck and we eagerly await our 2009.

  19. Ray,

    I was given your name from a good friend and avid Burgundy consumer, John Flegler. I am going to be in Burgundy next week and would love to come by and see you.

    I run a fine wine distributorship in Kansas.

    I have the late afternoon on 1/11 and 1/12 open. I know this is very late notice.


  20. Ray–

    I LOVE your labels! They are in keeping with the spirit of your old historical production techniques, but with a contemporary flair. The photos are great!

    Keep up the great work!

  21. George,
    thank you for dropping us a line. How is everything going? Christian just mentioned you the other day. I’m glad you like the labels. We’re trying to capture a fair amount of tradition in the labels, I’m pleased that you noticed.

    Stay in touch!



  22. Ray,

    It was just a few short years ago your lovely wife force-fed you fine wine! (Thanks Christian!)

    To come as far as you have in the last couple of years is truly inspiring. Congrats on the great reviews! Your determination and drive are the main reasons for your success.

    Looking forward to seeing you state side when we can tip a few. (And hopefully visit you in the near future).


  23. Hey Paul,
    Christian is a great way to blame this obsession. She really did start it all. And if it was not for the generosity of people in the wine community (you included) that pushed me and supported me, the road to this point would have been far more bumpy. As it was, I got a huge boost from people in the California wine industry putting up with my countless questions and people here in Burgundy have been even more supportive. It just goes to show just how small of a World that we live in.

    We will certainly get together when we visit later this year. Its always a pleasure…I’m going to need some steaks (our’s are much too lean) in a bad way!

    Speak soon,


  24. Dear Ray,
    Congratulations on your business. I just read your NYT article. My wife and I are doing the same in Faugères and are expecting our second child! Good to see someone else living the dream.
    Paul Gordon
    Domaine la Sarabande

  25. I saw an article about you in yesterday’s New York Times. I was wondering if or when your wines will be available in Brooklyn. I certainly would like to try some bottles. I have long thought that Burgundies are the premier wines, though a bit too pricey for regular consumption. I hope you and your family do well in France!


  26. Dear Ray,
    I just finished reading a wonderful article about you, your family and your winery in the New York Times, July 25th. What a great journey you have undertaken! Quite inspiring. I love burgundy wines. Would love to know if your wine is available in the Boston/Cambridge area. Buying and enjoying it is the way I can show my pride and support for what you are doing.

  27. Hello Ray,
    I just saw the article about you in the New York Times, front page! Wow what a remarkable story you have! I’d love to get some bottles of Le Chambertin when available for my husband who is a great fan of red wines.
    Good luck to you most remarkable young man!
    Samina Raza.
    Are you on Facebook? It will help in publicizing your name :)

  28. Greetings Ray.

    I just read your wonderful story in The NYT. My congratulations on all you have accomplished thus far and best wishes for the future. If you are adding folks to your mail order list I would be honored to have my name added. All the best!


  29. Just read the article in The New York Times about your journey to do your passion, what a great thing as few be that enjoy that outcome. When I was younger our French neighbor used to have us stomp the grapes he would order, and us young ones would be able to have a small glass during a meal when it was ready. I have no idea of what kind he made, but it ruined me for life when tasting other wines. Congratulations of your success, well earned.


  30. Great article in the NY Times! Is there any way to taste your wines or obtain a bottle or two in the US, in Florida to be more exact!! Great story and wonderful to hear you are doing well!! Lori Johnson

  31. What a thrill to read about your success in the New York Times today. Can’t wait for the tasting!


    Coli Vasquez

  32. Loved the article in The NYT. The world needs more people like you to follow your passion. I am sure it has been a hard road but from the article it will pay off for you and your young family.

    My husband and I would LOVE to have an opportunity to experience your wine someday. How do we get on a list?
    Best wishes,
    Mary Marovich
    Steamboat Springs, CO

  33. Hello, I apologize that we currently do not have any wines available. We have a list of nearly 1500 people, of which 130 clients have purchased our wines. The rest of the wines have been placed with one importer in the UK (Richards Walford) and one in the US (AOC Imports). To ensure that existing clients receive practical allocations, we have discontinued our mailing list. The good news is that we will be increasing production in 2011. We intend to stay at this level for a good amount of time since we have a sharp interest in remaining small.

    Thank you again for your comment!

  34. Hello Ray,

    Read your story in the NYT. Must say it was very inspiring and refreshing. I also made the switch from studying finance to the hospitalitly business, currently studying to be a sommelier. Wishing you and your family all the best.!
    How would one go about getting on the mailing list? I would love to try and share your wine with my wine class here in New York.

    Afiya Witter

  35. Dear Ray,
    me too, like many others here, have read the NYT article today about your road to success. I was greatly inspired as I have been thinking, researching, and hoping to start my own winery one day. I am a student from Serbia in my senior year of college in Pennsylvania. My parents back home have a vineyard they started a few years ago and are hoping that next year it will bring us plenty of grapes to start making some wine. My dream spontaneously became to go back there and join them, that is, start a winery. In my head it all seemed as a big dream and quite unachievable, until today when I read the article about you. It made me believe that it is possible and encouraged me to pursue it. I just felt i should share this with you, and I would love any guidance, tips, or suggestions you might have for a rookie-in-wine-making like me. :)
    greetings to your family and hope to hear back from you.
    have a wonderful rest of the summer.

  36. Hello Daniela,
    thank you for your comment. That sounds like quite a journey you are about to embark on. I wish you good luck, success and most of all happiness! I’m thrilled to hear that the article has given you inspiration. This further motivates me quite a bit to hear this. I appreciate you mentioning it. As for advice, I can’t do much in this department as I am fairly inexperienced myself. Though, as a person that set out with no employees, no money, no experience, and from a family that wasn’t wealthy, I would say that you can do anything you set your mind and passions toward. Just remember that every moment is filled with opportunities and the choices that you make in the times of doubt have the potential to be the most influential and empowering if you allow them to be.


  37. Congratulations Ray,

    The article in the New York Times was inspiring and a joy to read. Having walked the terroir of Burgundy and delighted in the wines, I hope you will let me know how to purchase your wines in New York City. I look forward to storing, drinking, and thoroughly enjoying the gifts of the earth with which you are providing us!

    Wishing you continued success!


  38. Thanks, Judith! I am certainly trying to make the wines available in NYC as well as in Boston, DC and a few other places. Its difficult to do when you have such a tiny production, but I will try my best! I appreciate the encouragement, but its always important for me to acknowledge that the potential of the vineyard itself is what controls the quality of the wine. After that, it is up to me to do my best in retaining this quality.

    Thank you again for your comment!



  39. Dear Ray,

    Yours is a wonderful and inspiring story. I have one remaining case of Burgundy – a 1996 Marquis d’Angerville Volnay. Would you be able to put me on your list to purchase a few bottles of your next vintage? I wish you the best of recoltes and vintages.



  40. Ray – I’ve been bringing American artists to France since 1993 and have a newsletter I send out to 3100 artists once a month. In my most recent newsletter I added a link to your NY Times story. I’m bringing a small group to Beaune September 23 to October1 and would love to bring them by for a tour and perhaps to let them do paintings in your fields one day. We’ve painted in the vineyards of the Chateau Gevrey Chambertin in years past. We would be more than happy to donate a painting to you at the end of the day. http://www.paintingfrance.com/Timothy.htm

  41. Hello Phillip
    that sounds like a wonderful idea. Alas, I don’t own any vineyards myself. I am certain, however, that we will be given permission if we give advanced notice. It would be an honor.


  42. Hello, Ray —

    What serendipity! I just learned about your wonderful adventure in Burgundy, and my novel, “Red Burgundy”, is coning out next month — harvest time!

    I would love to meet you after the vendange. I live in Paris, and could organize some interesting joint events here — books and bottles!

    Looking forward to hearing from you —
    Cheers —

    Joan Shore

  43. Hello Joan
    I’ve heard about your upcoming book from someone in publishing. I’ll certainly be buying it. I’m working on something at the moment as well. I would love to meet with you as well. Paris or Burgundy would work just fine. And, if you find yourself in Burgundy during harvest, don’t hesitate in dropping by.

    Hope to speak with you soon….

  44. Mr. Walker,

    It is a pleasure to be able to connect with you. I wish I would have read the article by Eric Asimov in the NY times while I was in Burgundy last month. It would have given me the chance to shake your hand and impress upon you the admiration I have for a very successful and passionate business venture.

    My name is Evan Byrd and I am a 24 year old wine professional working on Park Avenue in New York City. I work at a private wine retail store called Quality House Wines (we specialize in French wines). I came across your article over breakfast and was truly enthralled to learn of the success you have had. I just wanted to take the time to introduce myself. I trust that things are beginning to become a bit hectic in the Côte-d’Or, so do not feel obligated to respond if you are too busy. The vendange can be trying. Just know Mr. Walker, your story has truly inspired me and I hope to learn more of your wines as they gain prominence. Please be well and best to you and your family.


    Evan Byrd
    Quality House Wines

  45. Dear Ray,
    I read the piece in the New York Times about you and was intrigued by your courage to engage in this wonderful work not to mention moving to France. We are also thinking of moving to France and will be there this fall. Wondering if you’d be willing to share details of your experience and to allow us to share in the taste of the Grand Cru!!

  46. Hi Ray –

    Just saw the article in BBG magazine. I left my Bay Street job at the end of March for the world of wine. I own a small property in Argentina and have started an importing company in Canada. Starting my sommelier studies as well as my WSET diploma. Would love to touch base!

  47. Ray,

    Love following your blogs and stuff on UK Wine Pages but it looks like the formatting on the Midnight Tank Diving has gone a bit awry. Well it has for me on IE8!

    Any chance of a quick edit?


  48. Ray,
    As many others I was inspired by your courage and venture. I am studying for my MW and I will be in Burgundy October 2-5 and was wondering if you were free. I am still setting up our visits and know you don’t have a place to visit per say but if you and your wife are interested in having dinner with a few American and Swedish foodies please let me know. Good luck regardless! Thanks!

  49. We would like to thank you Ray for your inspiring steadfastness. This may not be the venue to say thi but, the brothers are following and rooting for your success. Best wishes for you, your wife and the girls. Stay healthy, safe, and mat God continue to bless.

    Please inform us how to purchase your product. The “Old Heads” from HBCU are biting at the bit for a taste.

    Walter from NYC

  50. Ray,

    I have enjoyed reading about your adventures and successes. Congratulations. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a way to get on your list (either current or waiting) to get your wine in the future. You come highly recommended from the most knowledgeable Burg guy I know in DC (initials are HC (don’t want to post on a webpage) who said he enjoyed spending some time at your winery last year. After telling him that I was interested in getting into Burgundy as a CA and OR pinot fan for years, he suggested your wines – if I could find them. Now that our youngest is now 1, I feel like it might be time.


  51. Hello James
    thanks for your email. HC is a great guy!If you are interested, go to our website and click under ‘Client Request’.

    If not, please email me with your info.



  52. Hello, I just finished watching the episode of Anthony B. I want to start of by sayIng……BRAVO! Secondly, tour have a beautiful family, In addItIon you are lIvIng out your wIth thwm by your sIde. I was very impressed by your passion for making your own wine. Lastly, I instantly wanted rotors taste what you have created would like to know if it’s available in the states? If so, where? If not, how can I get get a hold of some? I look forward to your reply and thank tour in advance. God bless.

    Clark Brunson, Jr.

  53. Hello again Ray, I’m new @ the blog thing so I have a question. Will I get an email alert when comments are responded to?


  54. Ray – Saw you on Anthony Bourdain tonight. Had read the article in NYT last year and meant to look you up so glad I watched No Reservations tonight. Great work and incredible story! Wish you the best and look forward to tasting your wines in the future!


  55. I have to work for you.! You are creating history. Great job. Are your wines in California ? I would love to represent them. Cheers

  56. I saw the No Reservations show with your story – best of luck as you continue with your journey. Next time I am in France I would love to vivst. Best


  57. Ray, I’m so proud of you and so happy for you and your family. I too saw “no reservations” and the kids seem so happy and so does your wife. Congratulations! Bravo! Sincerely, Peach

  58. Thanks, Melba! They are really happy girls, the three of them. :) This is the most important and a large part of why I am happy as well! Any success can be deflated by not doing well with your family. So, I feel glad knowing they still want me as their faithful employee.

    The baby says I’m on thin ice though.



  59. Hi Ray,
    I just signed on to your ‘Client List’. My question now is: how do I find out about “futures” offerings for coming vintages?
    Thank you,

  60. Hello Carroll,
    I have your information on the Mailing List currently. I will try my best to send an offer out to you this year for the 2012s, but it may be difficult in light of the small vintage we just had. Either way, you will receive an email from me thanking you for joining our list. However we have over one thousand names/info to enter onto the list, so this is taking some time for us. Rest assured, if you aren’t offered 2012s, you will be offered 2013s, assuming a moderate harvest production in terms of quantity.

    Thank you again for your interest and support!

  61. Ray,

    I’m inspired by the episode of you on “No Reservations.” I have not been a big fan of wine beasue of how the “elite” like to treat it here in America.

    Thank you for making it so accessible to a guy like myself.

    I’m thrilled or your success and I know it is hard ass work.


    David S. Smith

    Atlanta, Georgia

  62. Thanks, David! You are speaking to one of my biggest gripes. Unfortunately, wine in the US has been a subject that many knowledgable people have tried to keep a secret that they want to control to make others feel uninformed about. Wine is simple, you enjoy it. Everything else is for you to discover and determine how valuable it is to you, personally. There is no right or wrong, just different degrees of enjoyment.

    Thank you for your comment!



  63. I really enjoyed seeing you and hearing a bit about your wines on “No Reservations” – the Travel Channel played it again last night. Do you allow visitors to your winery? Yours is a most intriguing story. I look forward to reading your book.

  64. I wish I had heard of your wineyard before leaving Europe. We were stationed in Germany for three years and loved the accessibility and variety of wine there. I especially love vat wines and would have loved to have sampled yours in situ. Much luck to you and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to purchase a few bottles here in VA. If not, my husband and I plan to visit in the fall.

  65. Hello Ray,

    My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Northern France. I would have loved a visit to your “field of dreams” as we were in Beaune and the nearby countryside. You are an inspiration to all of us to live our dreams. It really can happen! Best of luck to you and your family. I hope to get back for a visit.

  66. Ray,
    To read your story is to be inspired! Your obvious love for your family and pursuing your dreams together is quite wonderful! My husband and I had a life changing white Burgundy several years ago that has continued to romance us and has now prompted our coming to the area around Beaune to discover more! We are thoroughly enjoying thinking and dreaming about our time there. We are coming the first week of may and would love to see your special Maison Ilan if possible. We have a small texas “vineyard” on some recreational land for fun and anything we can see or learn would be amazing! Blessings to you and your family!

  67. Ray, just stumbled upon your fun story while “googling” around planning my big milestone b-day trip to Italy and France in late August (yes, I turn 37 again). But that means I’ll be missing my beloved Giants run to another World Series and the start of another solid 9er season (STILL can’t believe they didn’t score from first-goal on the 7). But sometimes wine is more important than sports for this NorCal dude (now living in NY)….and that’s why we’ll come see and support you. But what I would really appreciate are some reccos on places to stay in the Beaune/Burgundy region – my wife and don’t mind spending a bit of $$ but really what we’re after is intimacy and authenticity. If anything pops to your mind, lemme know ‘cuz Trip Advisor ain’t cuttin’ it for us! ;-) And of course, we hope you’ll be at the winery in late August when we stop by! All the best, Michael (and Maureen), Katonah, NY.

  68. Hello Michael
    I can mention a few places if you email me. I don’t mention places publicly on the blog. And I will certainly be in Burgundy during August prepping for Harvest. And I agree with the sports, used to love them but once they traded Joe Montana and Jerry Rice I was through with it all.

  69. Can you tell me who distributes your wine in Canada & how can I contact them.
    Thank you.

  70. Hi Ray, I just read an advance proof of your book. I read it cover-to-cover in just two days. Both my wife and I are France/wine lovers and we travel to LaBelleFrance each April. We have been doing this since 1999 and I wish we had started earlier. Anyway, your book was one of the best reads that I have ever had. Congratulations and I wish you and your family well. Thanks again! Jerry Sullivan, Gloucester, Massachusetts
    (PS: How did Xavier react to the success of your venture?)

  71. Thanks, Jerry! That is wonderful to hear! I always wanted to write something so to have this chance was such a pleasure and I tried to make the most out of the opportunity. I’ve no idea about Xavier, but I keep in touch with Pierre from time to time. Spoke w him yesterday. I’ll ask him.

    Thank you again for sharing the journey with me.



  72. Hi Ray,
    I’m french, in finance, living in Hong Kong and about to move to Chicago!
    Just heard of you watching Antony Bourdain.
    Congrats on your work. I hope I’ll be able to stop by and do a little tour to taste some of your wines once back in France.
    A bientot et encore bravo.

  73. Bonjour Ray!
    I became intrigued by your wines when you were featured on the ‘No Reservations’ episode which I still have saved on my DVR! I too am a big Bourdain fan. I’ll actually be visiting France with my mother this summer and would love to bring a copy of your book with me; it comes out right about the time we leave, so hopefully I’ll find it at Barnes & Noble. I would absolutely love to try your wines. Is your wine able to be shipped to Ohio? Merci et la bonne chance! -Ted

  74. Thanks for such a nice comment, Ted. I will be off to the US in mid-July to promote the book. If I’m around I can give you a tasting. I apologize but our wines are only available in NY and CA for retailers (but the do ship) and our mailing list has a bit of a wait at this moment due to low production vintages. If you are interested, sign up at my website for the mailing list.

    Thank you again!

  75. As an Anglo-American family living in Burgundy, it is so lovely to read of others like us that have that sense of ‘coming home’ to this gorgeous area. I hope to taste, as opposed to just read about, the wine very soon :) Where do you sell in Burgundy or the Suisse Romande?


  76. Hello Ray. First of all, I’m glad you’re doing so well over there. I saw you on TV and your wine looked lovely. I was just wondering about price and whether any of your bottles will find their way to Tokyo? I’d love to try something so special.



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