Neyers Vineyards

Vintner Tales

December 18, 2019

Levi Dalton and I’ll Drink to That

by Bruce Neyers

I was in San Francisco recently to pour our wines at a restaurant wine tasting. The sommelier seemed to know me, and when I asked him if we’d ever met, he said no we hadn’t, but he had listened to Levi Dalton interview me on ‘I’ll Drink to That’, and felt like he knew me well. I realize that I’ve met a lot of people new to Neyers Vineyards over the past few years, and many of them probably never listened to Levi’s Podcasts of our interviews. I decided to correct that. I met Levi almost two decades ago. He was Restaurant Manager for the newly-opened Ritz Carlton in Boston. I was staying just down the street – at a more modest hotel – but someone had suggested I have dinner at the Ritz so I did. After the sommelier brought and opened the lovely bottle of red Burgundy I’d ordered, the server brought my mouth-watering steak, and I began to eagerly dig into both. At that moment, the fire alarm began to sound. An officious-looking person appeared at the door with a loudspeaker, instructing us to leave the premises. Within minutes the dining room was completely overrun by fireman dragging hoses. We began moving towards the safety of the street, and I gave one final, longing stare at my perfectly grilled steak, and that beautiful bottle of Burgundy. I walked to my hotel and ordered room service. A few years later, Levi and I met again, this time in New York, where he invited Barbara and me to dinner at a high profile restaurant. We had a fabulous meal, replete with great wines and magnificent food. I grabbed for the check when it came, but our server shook his head, and told me that we were ‘guests of Mr. Dalton’. Levi looked at me and said that we were now even for the ‘disaster’ in Boston. That tells you a lot about Levi. He gives everything, and asks for little in return. Levi’s Podcasts on ‘I’ll Drink to That’ include in depth talks with some of the most important wine figures of our time. He’s a natural at pulling complicated yet illuminating stories from them, and it’s fascinating listening to his interviews. In addition to being one of the nicest people I know, he’s also one of the smartest. I was flattered to be invited to an IDTT interview in 2014 – Episode 167 – and then invited back a year later in November 2015 for a second run – Episode 316. My life has changed pretty dramatically since then, thanks to our relationship with Trinchero Family Estates, and we now have an almost completely new list of folks with whom we work. If you’re new to Neyers Vineyards, and interested in some of our early history, you may want to listen in. It’s easy. Simply go to the IDTT Website, and click on:
Episode 167 from April 29, 2014
Episode 316 from November 24, 2015