Steve Tamburelli

Steve Tamburelli is the president and CEO of Clos Du Val winery in Napa. He has worked in the wine industry for about two decades and has been at Clos Du Val for three-and-a-half years.

J.L. Sousa, Register

Steve Tamburelli, president/CEO of Clos Du Val Wine Company, said he considers wine the most artistic of all beverages.

“Wine is dynamic,” he said.

“I can take grapes from the Stags Leap district and make wines and someone else can make a completely different product. It’s based on the vision of the creator.”

Tamburelli has been in the wine industry for 18 years. Before that, his family had an Anheuser-Busch distributorship.

1. Did Clos Du Val have any damage from the recent fires?

We were fortunate in that the vineyards proved to be a great firebreak. The fire burned right down to the vineyards but stopped there and did not get to the winery.

2. Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?

Ronald Reagan, for his ability to communicate a vision.

Jeff Bezos, for his story and vision on how he built Amazon.com and changed American shopping habits.

Bill Walsh, for his ability to unite a team of disparate individuals around a common goal.

3. What job would you like to try/not try?

Try: Educator –- I’d love the ability to inspire others to pursue their dreams

Not try: Mortician –- eeeck!

4. What was your first job?

Dusting off bottles and stocking the shelves of my mom’s liquor store.

5. What’s the worst job you ever had?

Being a ‘lumper’ on a beer delivery truck – slinging cases of beer in 100-degree heat taught me to pursue an education!

6. How did you get into this industry?

After having sold my business, an Anheuser-Busch distributorship called El Ray Distributing Co. I got a random call from a recruiter to interview for the COO job at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars – somehow I got the job!

7. What’s a common question or misconception you get about your job?

Whether we sit around and taste wine all day. That’s what everyone asks. I wish I could say we did. That is a very small part of the job actually.

8. What is the biggest challenge the wine industry has faced?

Remaining relevant in an industry that has more choices for the consumer than any other. There are over 120,000 wines available for the U.S. consumer – we sell five of those.

9. What’s on your to-do list?

Professionally – To complete the renaissance underway at Clos Du Val and to get our new visitor center built.

Personally – to order a tropical drink on the beach in Maui.

10. If you could change one thing about the wine industry, what would it be?

Less regulation (most of it dates to Prohibition).

Tamburelli can be reached at stamburelli@closduval.com. Clos Du Val Wine Company is located at 5330 Silverado Trail.

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Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.