CEO & Owner
Thomas grew up in Concord, CA where he attended De La Salle High School, operated by the Christian Brothers. It was there that Thomas was first introduced to Napa Valley. While attending yearly retreats at the Christian Brothers Retreat Center at Mont La Salle on the slopes of Mt. Veeder in Napa, Thomas learned of the Brothers’ history and traditions in wine. Early visits to the Christian Brothers Winery at Greystone Cellars in St. Helena (now home to the Culinary Institute of America) opened his eyes to the deep-rooted traditions and labor behind the scenes of the famous wine and brandy label. By the time he graduated in 1989, Thomas was on course to follow his early mentors and become a teacher.
Thomas attended college at Sonoma State University, in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country; the perfect setting to finish his B.A. in English, and Minor in Communications. While an undergrad, Thomas also pledged and became an active member of the national fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Following graduation, he was accepted into the University’s Teacher Credential Program. During his first year in the program, Thomas began working part-time for a tour and limousine operator that happened to specialize in wine tours. By that summer he began working full time to pay down his student loans. Then, in late August of 1996, something magical happened…harvest.
As a tour guide, Thomas quickly made friends with many small producer vintners and was invited to help them with their grape harvest. From cleaning pumps and hoses, to sorting grapes, to punch-downs…it was all very intoxicating for Thomas. This was his epiphany; the moment he realized he was training in the wrong subject matter…he wanted to teach people about wine. More specifically, he wanted to share his love and appreciation for wine and the regions of Napa and Sonoma.
Of course bills had to be paid, and the dream seemed somewhat unattainable. Tourism in Napa Valley and Sonoma was very seasonal at that time, so Thomas looked for another job. It just so happened, a former college fraternity brother from Sonoma State had started a limousine service in nearby Marin County, called Beau Limousine. Thomas got onboard as a chauffeur, then operations manager and trainer, then in sales and marketing, and finally a partner in late 2000. His love for wine and his dream to create a more sophisticated tour company in the region, drove Thomas to eventually buy out his partner and re-brand the fledgling limousine business in 2003.
Thomas moved the new Beau Wine Tours to Sonoma County, became a Certified Wine Educator, and retained some of the top local talent in the hospitality and corporate event industries. Together, with a team of wine savvy chauffeur tour guides, Beau Wine Tours quickly grew to be the premier luxury tour operator of the region. The company moved again in early 2005 to its current headquarters in Carneros; straddling the Napa-Sonoma County line.
After being an avid collector of California cult wines for over 20 years, Thomas began a new venture in 2012. Following his passion for fine wine, he started an exclusive label called Sire, sourcing top-tier cabernet fruit from some of Napa Valley’s most coveted vineyard sites.