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Wine with Me

Charles Banks' life after Screaming Eagle

I remember someone once said to me, “It's one thing to make great juice, it's another thing to sell it.”

Enter Charles Banks, who started his professional life trading stocks at CSI Capital Management. But his life changed forever when his young, beautiful wife sent him out to buy wine-- not his intended beer--for a dinner party.

That was when he was introduced to the wine world.

He quickly become a wine lover and collector and finally decided to take his business acumen to the industry.

In 2000, he dove in and purchased a former cattle ranch in Santa Barbara County wine country, planted vines on the property and Jonata was born. Its first vintage in 2005 earned scores of 95-97 points. By 2007, Jonata wines were receiving scores of 97-100 points. Not too bad for a first timer.

In 2006, Banks and a partner bought Screaming Eagle, California’s “cult Cabernet,” known for its 100-point scores and years-long waiting list.

And then his interests began to move around the globe. And he created Terroir Selections, which is basically a fund of exceptional wines from around the world.

And what makes the story even more “exceptional” to me is that he went from manage equitie to managing vineyards. 

I’m jealous.

But here’s the lesson: It doesn’t matter how good -- or exceptional--your wine is if you can’t sell it and pay the bills.

Every business needs a business person behind it.  Lucky for all of us we have Charles Banks.

Cent’ Anni.

Tracy Byrnes joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in October 2007 as a reporter.