Award-Winning Sports Commentator Jim Nantz Finds a New Calling: Partners With Wine Executive Peter Deutsch to Launch Their First California Wine
NEW YORK, June 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmy Award-winning commentator Jim Nantz, known for calling everything from the Masters Tournament to the Final Four and the Super Bowl for the CBS Television Network since 1985, is teaming up with a top player in the wine industry, Peter Deutsch, CEO of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, based in White Plains, NY. Together, they have formed a new partnership, Deutsch Nantz Alliance (DNA), and will be initially producing a Sonoma-based wine brand named The Calling. It will be introduced to the market in June.
"Serendipity brought us together one night at a restaurant in Connecticut where we both happened to be dining. I had recently finished reading Jim's best-selling book, ALWAYS BY MY SIDE, and went over to introduce myself. Jim happened to mention his long-standing desire to enter into the wine business. I recognized right away that he had researched this for years and had an understanding of the industry. We soon discovered that we shared both a passion for wine and a deep respect for our fathers, both of whom served as our personal mentors. Through time, and many brainstorming sessions, we decided it was a calling at this stage in our lives to try something new. We realized we could team up and build something special. Our shared virtues bonded us as business partners," said Deutsch. "Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits markets more than 30 leading wine brands. But this is the first time the Deutsch name will be on a wine label as a producer. For us to make this historic first step for our family company, the situation had to be just right. This was the perfect confluence of my family's ideals meshing with Jim's. We are thrilled to be presenting The Calling."
"Everyone faces certain callings in their lives. Some act on them; others don't," said Nantz. "In 2008 I wrote a book about my father. The enormous response to it and my father's fight against Alzheimer's inspired me to pursue other things I had always dreamed of. I wasn't going to wait another minute. One thing I knew for sure; I was going to dedicate my time to making a difference in the fight against the disease that took my dad's life. In January 2011 we opened one of the biggest research centers in the United States with the launch of the Nantz National Alzheimer's Center (NNAC) at Methodist Hospital in Houston. The other 'calling' had been in development for years, which was to make a great wine. I had a concept - high quality, great value, a true American iconic brand - and had met with winemakers in California dating back almost 10 years. I just had to find someone who shared the vision and passion. I found that person and more in Peter. Yes, serendipity brought us together, and I'm so grateful for that! I'm also elated that through The Calling we have found a way to advance the NNAC through another platform."
Nantz, a five-time National Sports commentator of the Year, found a winning partner in Deutsch, whose numerous success stories include the launch of Australia's Yellow Tail, the number one imported wine brand in the United States. Deutsch has been responsible for spearheading an exceptional growth streak for the company his father, Bill, founded 31 years ago, building an impressive global wine portfolio centered around leading family-owned producers and adding a spirits division in 2008. He plans to apply his company's marketing acumen to distributing The Calling initially to fine wine retailers and restaurants.
Deutsch and Nantz reached out to leading California winemaker Marco DiGiulio, a longtime friend of Peter's, to identify the best vineyards for the style of wine the duo wanted to produce. They selected grapes from the esteemed Dutton Ranch Vineyards in the Russian River Valley to produce two Chardonnays: Dutton Ranch ($30) and Jewell Vineyard ($40), each aged 12 months. Two red wines from the Alexander Valley complete the portfolio: a 2009 Rio Lago Cabernet Sauvignon aged 24 months ($35) and 2009 Alexander Valley "Our Tribute" Bordeaux-style blend, aged 30 months ($60).
"Jim and Peter were in concert with the wine style from our initial blending process," said DiGiulio. "They had a clear vision for what they were looking for. Together we chose terrific vineyards in the Russian River and Alexander valleys, which gave us a great opportunity to deliver outstanding quality in the final blends. I am proud of what we have produced and the attention to detail that shows in every bottle of The Calling."
Deutsch and Nantz also collaborated closely on the packaging design, the graphics and copy to capture the essence of The Calling. The result is an elegant label that features a keyhole as a centerpiece of the design.
"The keyhole symbolizes the consumer's chance to unlock their calling in life. It goes back to what my father always said to me and Bill Deutsch would say to Peter, 'Pursue your passion. Be the best you can be,'" said Nantz. "Our joint calling is to make a great wine that we can call our own and that would make our fathers proud. But above all, we want to give the consumers a chance to enjoy what we believe is a spectacular handcrafted wine. And remind them, to unlock 'the calling' that lives within them."
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SOURCE Deutsch Nantz Alliance