About The Company
JJ Buckley Fine Wines was founded as the fine wine retail arm of WineCommune LLC, the popular online wine auction company started in 1999. Co-founder Michael Stajer envisioned creating an online marketplace bringing wine enthusiasts together to efficiently buy and sell fine wines through the use of evolving internet technology. Later that year, co-founder Shaun Bishop joined Mr. Stajer to turn the online wine marketplace into a viable and profitable business.
In 2004, Michael and Shaun recognized the shift towards online wine sales and expanded the offerings to wine enthusiasts through WineZap, an online wine search engine that allowed users to compare wine prices from hundreds of wine retailers.
Finally, in 2005, after building up a loyal membership and a brand for WineCommune and WineZap, Michael and Shaun launched JJ Buckley Fine Wines. JJ Buckley, a new online wine retailer, thrived in the fragmented and chaotic online wine marketplace by providing quality service and competitive pricing to customers who sought premium and luxury wines but avoided the auction format. JJ Buckley completes the founders’ original vision to provide wine enthusiasts with multiple channels to buy or sell fine wine within a single online marketplace.
Today, JJ Buckley has established itself as one of the premier fine wine retailers in the United States and has been named one of the top ten places to buy wine in Food and Wine Magazine. JJ Buckley sells to a domestic and international client base.
JJ Buckley employs over 60 wine professionals in a 40,000 square foot retail and warehouse space located in Oakland, California, east of San Francisco and one hour south of the Napa Valley. In 2008, the San Francisco Business Times named JJ Buckley ‘The Fastest Growing Private Company in the San Francisco Bay Area.’ For the second year in a row, Inc. Magazine named it the ‘Fourth Fastest Growing Private Food & Beverage Company in the U.S in 2008.’
Product and Selection
Our extensive real-time inventory of over 6,000 fine wines at competitive prices gives our customers an extensive selection – from superb values to the old and rare. Our main wine category is Classified Growth Bordeaux, where we offer a wide range of both in-stock and en primeur (wine futures) selections. Each year, the entire JJ Buckley sales staff travels to Bordeaux to taste, select, and find new and exciting wines. Additional trips to Bordeaux are made each year by the JJ Buckley buying team to select and secure wines, and negotiate with local suppliers and producers. Because we buy directly from reliable suppliers and producers, and bypass the European exporters, American importers and wholesalers, we can be confident that our prices are always the best. We take extreme care to direct import all the wines in refrigerated, temperature-controlled containers.
We offer an extensive selection of domestic wines, ranging from terrific values to rare collectables such as Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate. In addition, we offer an in depth range of wines from Rhone, Burgundy, Champagne, Italy, Australia, Spain, Germany, and New Zealand.
As a policy, we will continue to expand our outstanding selection of wines. While so doing, rest assured that we tirelessly seek out the finest wines and take great pride in continuing to offer you honest, impartial, and knowledgeable advice.
Customer Service and Logistics
JJ Buckley prides itself on its integrity and providing honest, impartial, and knowledgeable advice. We strive to give the best possible customer service with an emphasis on retaining customers rather than securing the sale. We know our service is defined not just by the quality of our wines, but by the quality of our people. This belief is core to our business and we will remain a top priority. One of our Fine Wine Specialists or Customer Service people is always available to help, no matter the day or time, 24/7. Our entire inventory is real-time, so you know exactly what we have at any given time. All orders placed before 3pm PST, ship the same day and we offer multiple shipping options, including same day delivery, overnight, and ground. We also arrange refrigerated shipments of larger orders. Should you choose to delay your shipping, we offer free storage in our temperature controlled warehouse for up to 90 days after your purchase.
Commitment to Our Community and Environment
In 2007, JJ Buckley became the nation’s first carbon neutral wine retailer, offsetting its carbon footprint through Carbonfund.org, the country’s leading carbon reduction and offset organization. All carbon emissions caused by our business operations - including shipping and receiving, travel, electricity and employee commuting, are offset. We are proud of our commitment, but also consider it our obligation. In addition to being carbon neutral, JJ Buckley also uses environmentally friendly packaging Styrofoam. Fagerdala World Foams, based in Stockholm, Sweden, has developed Styrofoam called EnviroFoam made from 100% recycled Polystyrene that reduces the carbon footprint every step of the way. The new foam is extremely lightweight, keeping fuel costs and emissions low and it is easily recyclable after use, creating a closed loop recycling scenario. It retains all of the advantages of standard Styrofoam, such as temperature control and breakage protection, while being dramatically better for the environment. Since 2000, JJ Buckley has hosted an annual fundraiser, supporting non-profit Diabetes related organizations, where we have raised nearly half a million dollars. In addition, we support our local schools and a number of other local charities.
To succeed in today’s retail world of fine and rare wine, it is essential to continually innovate and improve. Yes, we take our wine selection and customer service very seriously, but we also know that in order to operate on much smaller margins than our competition, we must continue to operate as efficiently as possible.
A Leader in Technology
JJ Buckley leverages technology in all aspects of our operations: wine procurement, supply chain management, sales, customer service and fulfillment. Our proprietary technologies allow us to keep wine prices low while offering our customers an unparalleled level of service. Our real-time inventory system provides accurate inventory information on all 6,000+ wines in stock. Our salespeople can access this information from any computer or Smartphone worldwide – our customers can login to www.jjbuckley.com and know they are seeing up to date information. When you order a product, you can be confident we have it in stock. Plus, you can get RSS feeds of all our popular product categories and newly stocked items so you can get the jump on the latest hot wines. Not only do we provide real-time inventory, but our website tells you when you can expect your order to ship. Order by 3:00 p.m. PST and orders of in stock items ship the same day! All Futures/Pre-Arrival items have accurate expected shipping dates listed so you know before you order when you will get your wine. Plus, you can check the status of all your futures (wine purchased in advance of its availability such as is common with Bordeaux future releases) orders anytime at www.jjbuckley.com.
Lowest Cost and Fastest Shipping Methods
Our systems get you wine faster than anyone in the industry. Orders placed by 3:00 p.m. ship the same day. Customers in the western states get overnight delivery for a price cheaper than ground service from our competitors. Anyone nationwide can get their orders overnight and we offer some of the cheapest ground shipping rates of any wine retailer. Plus, condiser storing your wine with us and have it shippped only when you have amassed enough quantity to qualify for a bulk rate shipping discount. The options are all yours!
24/7 Customer Service – Yes! By phone, too!
Have a question about an order or a product we sell? Call us anytime – 24/7. Our friendly customer service representatives are available to take your call 365 days per year. Prefer email? Send us a question and we will get back to you quickly – usually same day!
Online Order Management from your computer
JJ Buckley offers full order management online. Simply login at www.jjbuckley.com/myaccount and you can see your entire current and prior order history. Track your futures purchases, review your prior orders, and manage wines you have stored with us. It is easy and available anytime from any computer. For payments, we offer more choices than anyone. Pay via Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Or, we accept wire transfers and electronic checks. Since 2009, we have accepted PayPal and will soon be integrating Google Checkout. In 2009, JJ Buckley became the first online wine retailer to offer payment not only by PayPal but via PaySecure for Internet Pin Debit, allowing customers to pay with their debit card and PIN right at the merchant checkout, adding an extra layer of security and convenience to their online transaction.
JJ Buckley has expanded its markets overseas with a strong presence in Asia
and a growing presence in Europe.
Management and Operations
|Robert Bonneau, C.E.O|
|Robert came to the wine industry in the late ‘90s when he created Global Wine & Spirits, an international B2B company he presided over until he joined JJBuckley in 2011. He has an in-depth knowledge of the international wine landscape and counts several contacts throughout its value chain all over the world. He holds an MBA from HEC-Montreal a top Canadian business school, where he also acted as the Dean of Students for ten years. |
As a manager, he strongly believes in and promotes teamwork, creativity, integrity, honesty, and respect. He sees JJB as a rare customer advocate in an increasingly competitive market and views every transaction as an opportunity to create ever more value for the consumer. Robert is the proud father of four children.
|David Gardner, C.F.O|
|David brings over 20 years of international financial expertise to JJ Buckley, including previous roles as Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Controller, and Leader of Operations, in both publicly and privately held companies.|
His unique background, which combines both Finance and Operations has served him well in aligning financial measurement with operational realities, and promotes better decision making through improved visibility and accountability throughout the organization. His career is evidenced by recurring themes of strong business judgement, teamwork, integrity, and a reputation as a trusted business advisor.
David’s fascination with the wine industry serves him well, in that his work is also his pleasure.
|Isabelle Papillon, V.P. Corporate Affairs|
|Isabelle is a business lawyer with both in-house and private practice experience. She led the legal departments of several companies, in various areas including e-commerce, health, and fashion, developing legal specialties in intellectual property, technology law, and real estate. Isabelle holds an MBA from Babson College in Boston, where she specialized in entrepreneurship, allowing her to expand beyond the practice of law into management and business development. |
Isabelle has extensive knowledge of the US wine industry’s legal landscape, having put together her own business plan for a wine e-commerce company while pursuing her MBA in 2000. She also interned for a cognac producer in France to help with the brand’s e-commerce strategy in the US and other markets. Isabelle loves to run and ski with her family and is very involved with raising funds at the local children’s hospital, selling her homemade grape juice with her kids..
|Nathalie Tremblay, Marketing Director|
|Nathalie is a full time Marketer by day, part time singer and ardent fitness fan by night (a “gym rat” in fact, according to Foursquare!). Her Executive MBA from ESG at l’Université du Québec à Montréal and her 15-year career in media, communications, and marketing have provided Nathalie with the skillset to push the marketing envelope. Fueled by hard work, her strong beliefs in customer advocacy, teamwork, and a constant strive to do better through innovation are now her trademark. |
Both at work and at play, Nathalie gets the best out of whoever is around her, whether colleagues or consultants, her backing musicians (she’s also a rock singer!), or her workout partners. She knows the name of the game – put 110% in and you’ll get 110% back.
|Paige Granback, Sales Manager|
|Email Paige or call her at 510.250.5693|
|Paige first experienced the world of wine as a child in Virginia stomping grapes in a plastic kiddie pool for her grandfather’s home winemaking “experiments”. Always fascinated by this process, her palate thankfully evolved, leading her to explore the world of Bordeaux and California cabernet in her early 20s. After careers in retail, social work and early childhood education, she took a more formal step into the wine trade, spending the last 10 years with a prominent San Francisco retailer. Paige caught the Spanish wine bug on an importer trip, after which she became the Spanish wine buyer. She further expanded her position there by building out a successful eCommerce operation and marketing program. Paige is fascinated by the intersection of wine and technology and is looking forward to bringing our customers a more engaging online experience. When she’s not geeking out on the latest social media app, you might find her traveling to Australia or New Zealand with her partner Chuck Hayward. Follow her on Twitter @JJBuckleyWines.|
|Kenley Mew, CPA|
|Email Kenley or call him at 510.858.2719|
|Kenley was first introduced to wine via the biblical account of Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding party. He was disappointed to discover that Sunday School teachers did not use actual wine for illustrative purposes, opting for grape juice instead. JJ Buckley is the perfect company for Kenley, combining his passion for accounting & finance with the wine industry. Kenley is enthusiastic to learn more about and taste wines from all over the world.|
Since completing college from UC Berkeley with degrees in Economics and Business Administration, Kenley has worked at a public accounting firm, gaining exposure to the high technology, software, construction, hospitality, public sector and wine industry. Just prior to JJ Buckley, Kenley spent a decade at a large financial services company where he became acquainted with sound internal controls, mergers & acquisition and integrated system applications. Along the way, he’s earned a Masters in Financial Planning from Golden Gate University. In his spare time, Kenley travels to SE Asia providing remote villages/communities with medical clinics, children educational activities or building water/sewer systems to improve their standard of living.
|Celeste Gallien, Creative Lead, Graphic and Web Design|
|Email Celeste or call her at 510.858.2711|
|Celeste is a designer, entrepreneur and mid-century enthusiast. She has lived in Canada, The Netherlands, Boston, MA. and now the East Bay of San Francisco. She obtained her degree in Digital Media Design while living in Europe and was the first student in her class to graduate from the pioneering international program at the Graphic Institute of Rotterdam. Celeste’s design experience has varied from Corporate to edgy and her experience and diverse skills have allowed her to wear many hats and grow into her current position at JJ Buckley.|
When she’s not designing, you can find Celeste looking for mid-century treasures at an antiques fair, roller-skating, riding her motorcycle, marketing her own line of natural skincare products, or at home enjoying a nice glass of Pinot Noir.
|Michelle Hu, Online Marketing Manager|
|Email Michelle or call her at 510.858.2715|
|Michelle is a wine-loving marketer from San Francisco. She obtained her degrees in Communications and Sociology while studying at the beautiful UC Santa Barbara. Since then she has held positions in various industries, including affiliate marketing, software, yoga and now wine. Michelle’s passion for marketing is what ties everything together, coupled with her drive to succeed and her depth of experience in online world.
When she’s not wearing her marketing hat, Michelle can be found nurturing her interests in international travel, writing, music and fitness. Whether she’s rock climbing, biking around the city, writing, or planning her next adventure, Michelle likes to keep her life fresh with new experiences, food and flavor.
|Alexandra Fondren, Brand & Communications Manager|
|Email Alex or call her at 510.632.5313|
|Alex’s introduction to wine began while she was an undergrad in Los Angeles. During a memorable meeting with a favorite history professor, she was encouraged to spice up her dissertation with a glass of good zinfandel. Ever since, her appreciation for wine has been intertwined with her love of history and the great pairing they make. An avid traveler, she spent the next few years studying and living abroad, never far from a major wine region, whether she was excavating near Florence (happily discovering more super Tuscans than artifacts), waitressing in Sydney with its Hunter Valley backyard, or backpacking through Mendoza. She tried her hand at political journalism, doing stints at both CNN and British Parliament, before graduating last year from the London School of Economics with a Master's degree in History of International Relations. In spite of herself, she found she simply couldn’t shake her wine obsession and finally moved back to California to immerse herself completely in the industry. In her free time she enjoys exploring the Bay Area beer scene with her boyfriend, watching football (both NCAA and Premier League...go Liverpool!), and studying for her upcoming WSET certification.|
|Chuck Hayward, Brand & Communications Sr. Manager|
|Email Chuck or call him at 510.257.2653|
Chuck was born in Michigan, grew up in Philadelphia, got a degree in
political science from Claremont Men's College outside of Los Angeles, and
later moved to Louisiana to further his studies at LSU. In that time he
worked as librarian, cook, political consultant, government bureaucrat, disc
jockey and music promoter. He then moved to California in 1986 to pursue his
passion for wine. Job stability began the day he walked into a San Francisco
wine store before Christmas and was hired as temporary help. |
Serving 23 years at legendary wine retailer The Jug Shop, Chuck was responsible for wine buying, consumer and staff training and education, as well as daily operations. The store gained international recognition for its wine program during his tenure, and he has become one of the leading experts on Australian and New Zealand wines in the country. In his current job at JJ Buckley, Chuck continues his specialization in wines from Down Under as a wine buyer and fine wine specialist, while assisting the wine department in education and procurement.
Chuck is an avid traveler who is famous for his "Paris for the Weekend" trips, as well as his frequent jaunts to the Southern hemisphere. Soccer is his favorite sport and he actively follows the Earthquakes and the US national team except when he's watching the Grand Final for Aussie Rules Football. You'll frequently see Chuck and his girlfriend Paige out and about the bars and restaurants of San Francisco as he looks for the perfect negroni. Check out Chuck’s blog and receive the latest special offers for Down Under wines by clicking here.
|Yeigi "A.G." Melendez, Inventory Manager|
|Email A.G. or call him at 510.250.5687|
|Before JJ Buckley, A.G. worked within a variety of industries, including
retail, mortgage/finance, computer networking, and as a State of California
employee at the Department of Motor Vehicles for many years. Back in 2004,
he became one of Wine Commune's first employees in an office loft in
Emeryville. A real veteran, A.G. has been instrumental in keeping all
systems going and has built a reputation as the “go-to.” He often finds
himself wearing a lot of hats, as he has a hand in most of what happens at
JJ Buckley and manges the day-to-day operations, including customer service
and the warehouse and shipping departments. His hard working nature, can-do
attitude and great rapport with people has made him a significant player and
asset to the company. |
Spending time around wine on a daily basis brought out love and passion for the industry. He currently enjoys German Rieslings and right bank Bordeaux. In his spare time, if A.G. is not improving his handicap on the golf course or riding his motorcycle through the Bay Area backroads, you will likely find him spending time with his wife and seven-year-old son.
|Chris Nielsen, Consignment Manager|
|Email Chris or call him at 510.250.5690|
|Chris Nielsen’s first real introduction to wine happened while he was at Tulane University in New Orleans. In need of gainful employment, he saw a job posting with a well known retailer in the Uptown area. Not having much wine knowledge, he was hired on as a stock clerk and quickly acquired an appreciation for good wine. After taking some courses, Chris found himself promoted to salesman, a capacity in which stayed throughout college. After graduation, he had a brief stint in the world of advertising and retail while maintaining a strong personal interest in wine. Almost a decade later, Chris was living in the Bay Area and looking for a new challenge. He found it at JJ Buckley in 2006. As the manager of the Consignment Department, Chris takes pride in acquiring, safeguarding and placing your fine wines in the hands of others who will enjoy them. Chris is also an avid follower of the ‘beautiful game’ (Go Gunners!) and loves the outdoors.|
|David Derby, Wine Buyer|
|Email David or call him at 510.257.2655|
|Like many in the industry, David experienced his wine epiphany while
traveling through Europe. His was a fine Riesling Spatlese, where the Mosel
meets the Rhine, 25 years ago. When he returned home, he got a job as a
waiter and six months later was exclusively working the floor assisting
guests with their wine selections. A year later he was the beverage manager,
and the wine list had gone from five pages to over 100. Pursuing the
marriage of food and wine, he moved to the center of Philadelphia to work at
the Four Seasons Hotel. With the food part down, next was selling wine as a
broker for Margolis Wine and Spirits. Since Pennsylvania is a controlled
state monopoly, to really be able to understand the wine side, David packed
his bags and headed to San Diego. Seeking the best, David went to the
WineSellar & Brasserie, with its wine shop on the first floor and restaurant
upstairs. Every Saturday and Sunday he conducted wine tastings to showcase
the breadth and depth of the Grand Award (Wine Spectator) wine list. |
Now a buyer for JJ Buckley covering California, Spain, Germany, Austria and South America, David focuses on what will make his customers happy, not on only what he likes. David says, “There is beauty in a well made wine that speaks of its place and history, and a joy in matching it with someone who appreciates those charms.”
|Christopher Massie, Wine Buyer|
|Email Christopher or call him at 510.903.5914|
|Christopher Massie – “unabashed Burgundy lover”, UT Graduate and
Certified Sommelier – began his career in 1985 as an assistant cellar master
for the upscale Riviera restaurant in Dallas. Under owner Franco Bertolasi’s
wing, he encountered tastings that included 1982 First Growth Bordeaux,
multiple vintages of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and other artisanal,
hand-crafted, estate-bottled French wines that sealed the direction of his
During an early visit to Burgundy, Massie met with Thierry Matrot, Mongeard-Mugneret and the late Monsieur Gouges to name a few. He would return nearly 2 dozen times more, completing his Sommelier training and solidifying his expertise for Burgundian wines. Visits to the cellars at DRC, Ponsot, D’Angerville, Lignier and many more over multiple vintages honed his skills for understanding the differences in terroirs and vintages.
By the mid 1990s, through his work with European Wine Group, Massie was importing Rapet, Amiot-Servelle, Beaurenard, Robert Perrin and Domaine de la Solitude. His passion for the best grew to include the wines of the Rhone Valley, Champagne, the Loire Valley and the rest of France. After returning to his native Texas in 1997, Massie established his own three-unit retail wine company, building a world-class selection of wines from across France, Italy, Spain, Australia, South America as well as California, Oregon and Washington.
Joining JJ Buckley as Buyer, covering France as well as Italy, he plans to bring in the most exciting, coveted and hard-to-find wines of Europe. Happy to now call California home, his wife and young daughter have joined him on his journey.
|Geoffrey Binder, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Geoff or call him at 510.903.5908|
|During his third year working towards a degree in environmental studies at a small liberal arts college in New Jersey, Geoff began his career in the wine industry. He started working at a fine wine store where he was sales associate, inventory manager, and manager and buyer for the gourmet department over the course of three years. He then relocated to the Bay Area to work for JJ Buckley. Geoffrey is now an avid wine collector with an extensive collection focused in German wines, but he also has a strong passion for the Rhône Valley and Italy. When he is not at home exploring a bottle of wine, he is off venturing through the many scenic areas that Northern California has to offer or pursuing an exceptional flavor experience from single origin espresso.|
|Ian Conroy, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Ian or call him at 510.858.2717|
|Ian’s passion for wine was ignited in 2002 after tasting a Marc Kreydenweiss Gewürztraminer during a wine class at U.N.L.V. While becoming certified with the Court of Master Sommeliers, he traveled and tasted his way through both Burgundy and Bordeaux. He was forever marked by the history and purity of old world wine. Ian then went back to work in fine dining under the leadership of Master Sommelier Steven Geddes at Andre Rochet’s Gastronomy Management Group. Working as a sommelier in all four of Andre’s restaurants, he was able to learn from unique lists that were mainly built upon the chef’s private collection of old world wine (though it also contained one of the rarest collections of cognac in North America!).|
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Ian moved back to San Francisco in 2007, and became the Cellar Master at Gary Danko, where he expanded his knowledge of California wine. After almost five years he became the Head Sommelier at Quince in San Francisco. Ian is now very proud to share his experiences and expertise at JJ Buckley. When not at work he enjoys spending time with his family, surfing, and experiencing live music.
|Andy Frieden, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Andy or call him at 510.257.2650|
|Andy Frieden developed a passion for wine while working as an accountant
for the San Francisco based restaurant firm, Il Fornaio. After a trip to
Italy's Tuscan Coast to visit his cousin’s olive oil farm near Ornellaia,
his interest in wine magnified. He decided to go for it and leave a ten-year
career in finance.
Upon his return, Andy immediately moved to Napa Valley and began a year working for the peerless winery, Chateau Montelena. With 16 years of retail and wholesale wine distribution in the San Francisco Bay Area and his experience teaching the first wine course on the internet for Virtual Vineyards in 1997, he possesses a wealth of knowledge. Andy is also WSET Certified ( Level 3 Advanced) and brings this educational interest into his approach to selling wine at JJ Buckley. Andy's focus leans towards Burgundy's chameleon of flavors and a new love of the Left Bank of Bordeaux with its loamy clay soil profile, but the Bay Area's backyard wine regions of Napa and Sonoma are still dear to his heart.
In his spare time, Andy enjoys skiing, competitive tennis, and practicing his mad culinary skills.
|Chris Greene, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Chris or call him at 510.858.2714|
|Although Chris’s love of wine can be traced back to a post-high school summer spent in France, it wasn’t until he formed his wine import business in 2001 that he turned that passion into a profession. Quickly becoming the on-call substitute for one of the premier wine educators of Northern California, Chris was soon contracted as a full instructor, and currently teaches several wine classes through the UC Berkeley Extension in the San Francisco Bay Area. Formerly the wine specialist for BevMo’s Emeryville location, he is now very proud to be sharing his wine expertise at JJ Buckley.|
A Certified Sommelier through the court of Master Sommeliers, Chris is in Europe almost every year, exploring the wine regions and searching for the latest hidden (bottled) gems. When he is not immersed in the world of wine, Chris can be seen tooting his own horn as a trumpet player for the Solano Symphony and the Generation Gap Big Band dance band. He has also put his dramatic skills to work in roles in the motion pictures Milk and Woody Allen’s new film, as well as the TV shows Trauma, Almost Got Away with It, and World’s Astonishing News.
|Cory Gowan, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Cory or call him at 510.257.2654|
|Cory's first ‘wine moment’ happened years ago at a small French restaurant in Oakland, California. He doesn't remember the wine, but he remembers being floored by the fact that a wine could smell like pepper! He went on to explore Napa and Sonoma counties, marveling at the beauty of the vineyards and eating lunch among the vines and the orchards. Cory has been at JJ Buckley since 2007. He also assists at tasting events for a small California winery and has continued his wine education through courses and industry tastings. He especially enjoys Rhône varietals (red and white), and just about any small production or single vineyard wines. In his spare time he plays softball, checks out new restaurants, and travels the world (or at least the back roads of California). Cory logs his wine adventures on Twitter @ CorysWineWorld and lives in Oakland with his wife and two cats.|
|Roland Hankerson, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Roland or call him at 510.250.5691|
|Roland and his wife Jennifer made their way to California in 2006. A graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta with a BA in International Studies, he has spent time studying and working abroad with various organizations throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia, later transitioning to a career in fine dining and hospitality. He was first introduced to wine during a staff tasting while opening an Italian restaurant in Washington D.C. This was the spark that led to his lifelong passion and career in the wine world, spanning nearly every aspect of the industry from hospitality, wholesale, retail buying, vineyard operations, and consumer consulting and sales.|
Roland has always believed that wine is for everyone, and his ability to connect his customers to their own palates and deepen their appreciation for wine has lead him to be featured in The Washington Post and other publications. “I like spending time with clients, getting to know them and their individual preferences. I like coming across a wine and saying, this would be great for Susan in South Carolina, Tom in Texas, or my wife tonight!” His interests aside from wine are wrangling/raising his adorable son Joshua, cooking, music, movies, martial arts, travel and poker.
|Jeff Loo, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Jeff or call him at 510.250.5689|
|Jeff Loo's interest in fine wine was sparked while managing
the tasting room and dabbling in production for a small, family-run winery
in Carneros where he fell for Pinot Noir. But his passion for wine really
caught fire over a bottle of 1989 Chateau Palmer—the bouquet blew him away!
This singular experience launched Jeff on a quest to learn everything he
could about Bordeaux. Later working as wine manager and buyer for a wine bar
and retail store in the San Francisco Bay Area, he was able to establish
relationships throughout France. His passion, persistence and eminent
congeniality finally paid off, providing him with the amazing opportunity to
participate in the 2009 harvest in Bordeaux—at Chateaux La Croix, La Croix
St. Georges in Pomerol and at La Confession in St. Emilion.|
Jeff is certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers and plans to sit for the rigorous advanced certification exam soon. In his spare time, Jeff likes to golf, travel, smoke cigars, and enjoys working on his vertical of Chateau Palmer.
|Devon Magee, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Devon or call him at 510.903.5924|
|Devon Magee hails from Seattle and studied International Politics and Economics as an undergraduate at Middlebury College. He spent his junior year abroad to build his fluency in Spanish in Logrono, La Rioja, and ended up falling in love with wine. After college, he landed his first wine job in Seattle’s largest wine retail store, Esquin. After his buyer opened a bottle of ’82 Lynch Bages for him, the next step was obvious. He moved to France, where he learned French and worked in one of Paris’ longest-running wine bars, Juveniles. He also completed harvest at Vieux Telegraphe in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.|
Two years later, he returned stateside to work at Jordan Winery in Sonoma County. He finally settled in the Bay Area when he became the West Coast Associate Editor for Wine & Spirits Magazine. Now, after ten years of wine adventure, he’s been back in retail as a Fine Wine Specialist at JJB for over 2 years. He still returns to France to work harvest - in 2011 he worked at Bellefont-Belcier in St. Emilion, and in 2012, he worked at Chandon de Briailles in Burgundy. Devon is currently studying for the final exam to complete his Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma, the last step before pursuing the Master of Wine certification.
|Neil Mechanic, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Neil or call him at 510.903.5918|
|A transplanted Californian via New York City, Neil
Mechanic’s passion for wine was born during his undergraduate studies at San
Diego State University. He had the good fortune to work as a waiter for two
Wine Spectator Grand Award winning fine dining restaurants, which exposed
him to a treasure trove of fine wines from around the world. Neil’s
commitment to wine went to the next level when he signed on with the
Ritz-Carlton in Hawaii as Floor Captain / Sommelier. Itching to get back to
the urban experience on the mainland, Neil chose the San Francisco Bay Area
as a place to relocate due to its proximity to the great vineyards of the
North and Central Coasts. |
Since his arrival to the Bay Area in 1996, Neil has become a seasoned veteran of the wine trade as a retail and restaurant buyer, wine consultant, and manager of two noted brick and mortar boutiques. He has conducted numerous themed tastings and specialty non-profit and charity wine events over the years. His love for wine is infectious, and his commitment to support small California producers has propelled him to become a leading advocate of draft wine systems or "keg wine." Neil’s palate interest covers the gamut from Old World Europe-- Spain to Italy to the great wines of Champagne and the Rhône and Loire Valley –to being well versed with many of the up-and-coming California and Oregon producers and even enjoys indigenous varietals from Greece and old-vine Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. In his downtime, you can find Neil cooking up a storm for friends, riding his multiple bikes, swimming, or running the shooting guard position for 5-on-5 full-court basketball.
|Ryan Moses, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Ryan or call him at 510.632.5322|
|Ryan Moses grew up in Michigan and went to school at Boston College, receiving a business degree in accounting and information systems. While in college, he also developed a talent for sports radio - broadcasting football, hockey, and basketball games for BC at some of the biggest venues in the country. All of these pursuits were soon eclipsed when he discovered his love of fine wine after taking a restaurant position in Nantucket. After crafting wine lists and beverage programs at Massachussetts restaurants such as DeMarco, the Westmoor Club, Apocrypha, and 51 Lincoln, he found himself in an enviable vintage position at Sine Qua Non, learning the heart of winemaking in all its exacting detail over two seasons. |
Outside of the professional realm, Ryan spends as much time as he can with his beautiful wife and daughter, is an ardent hockey and football fan, and is dedicated to the pursuit of the perfect cocktail, cappuccino, and bottle of wine. Although his original wine passion involved Barolo and Barbaresco, he has found favorites over the years in Central Coast California, Bordeaux, Rhone Valley, and Burgundy.
|John Perry, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email John or call him at 510.903.5910|
|John developed his passion for wine while working at a local market. Educating himself by gradually tasting through the store’s inventory, John worked his way up to become the wine buyer for the store. This coincided with his time at UC Davis, where John was pursuing a degree in Political Science, while at the same time immersing himself in as many classes as possible at the school’s renown Department of Viticulture and Enology. After working briefly as an advocate for patients' rights, John followed his dream of making it in the wine industry when he gained employment with a Napa retailer. Wanting to be closer to his family in Oakland, John joined the team at JJ Buckley soon thereafter and has been a productive member of both the Consignment and Sales Department of our operation for the past two years. In his free time, John is an avid cyclist, throwing himself with reckless abandon up and down the scenic hills of the Bay Area, that is, when he's not chasing after his two-year-old daughter.|
|Tracey Rose, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Tracey or call her at 510.632.5308|
|After graduating with an MS in Advertising in 1997 from the cornfields of University of Illinois, Tracey took off for the bright lights of the big city to pursue a career in comedy. While trying to make ends meet, Tracey took a front-of-house position in a Chicago French restaurant, not knowing the James Beard nominated chef was dedicated to educating his staff on all things food and wine. This new world of wine was intriguing and somewhat addictive (especially when it involved Sancerre, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and authentic Chablis). Bolstered with this daily education and an intuitive knack for creating great food and wine pairings, Tracey continued working in fine dining and wine training in Chicago and the Bay Area before transitioning to wine retail in 2005. After a myriad of excellent experiences selling wine though importers, distributors and retailers, Tracey has joined the JJ Buckley family. An avid student of wine, Tracey is studying for the French Academy’s Burgundy Master Level, but takes time out for entertaining, tennis and hikes with her wife of five years.|
|Eddie Wolowski, Fine Wine Specialist|
|Email Eddie or call him at 510.250.5671|
|Eddie Wolowski hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, where a palate for
New World wines is often the norm. But always one to go against the grain,
it didn't take long for him to discover the Old World, which eventually led
him to Bordeaux. Yet it wasn't until after a fortuitous windfall at the
races which resulted in a splurge purchase—a bottle of Haut Brion, to be
exact—that his love was cemented, owing to the power, complexity and finesse
Bordeaux offers. |
As an artist, Eddie moved to New York City to attend graduate school at New York University where he was also an assistant instructor. While there, he became a regular at Astor Wines and later, an employee. During his time in New York, he also launched his own high-end wine collectibles business and hosted guided wine tastings, while exhibiting his artwork and teaching serigraphy abroad. After 11 years in NYC, Eddie has returned to his native Bay Area to join the team at JJ Buckley. In his free time, he can be found painting, attending concerts and Thoroughbred races, or enjoying wines from his cellar.
Cindy Allen | Office Manager
Sambat Cheam | Inventory
Chhay Chhy | Supervisor
Sam Enos | Project Manager
Christian Esser | Consignment
Alex Hernandez | Consignment
Erik Hernandez | Inventory Assistant
Jose Macias | Supervisor
Ryan Massari | Consignment
Michelle Ng | Bookkeeper
Nima Sharif | Financial Analyst
David Ryan | Assistant Bordeaux Buyer
Dominique Vargas | Inventory Assistant