Well, if you are man or woman ages 25 through 75 and single you absolutely shouldn't—the salt and pepper looks and lachrymose sighs are but tarpits of charm. But, if you have a passing interest in wine then keeping him on the line may just learn you a thing or two—after all I did teach him everything I know.
5’ 10”, low center of gravity, dark hair faded to ash, forearms of a sumo wrestler, Patrick is the resident champion of grandfatherly knowledge at Locals. A boyish face and sheep dog curls bare a sportfisherman’s tan from years in the vineyard. Starting as busker and general vagrant he danced across cathedral cobblestones and slept in bus stations or on front stoops as he traversed the European vista. But taxed by both a cerebral and deeply physical urge he traded in his taste for Venetian streets and satin sheets for a desire to create. Settling in the Spanish foothills at the base of the Pyrenees he began a culinary study drawing on the roots of his family’s local restaurant. Early mornings were spent learning the finer details of traditional paella making, nights, he watched the quivering flanks of bulls beneath torch light and beheld women with hooded eyes spinning backwards down long green absinthe drains.
Brought out of the hillsides and briefly ceasing work on developing current passion projects he glides through the tasting room with a matador’s grace. The Spanish predilection for pageantry and costume is very much apparent in his character and each tasting is presented as a play, one with the audience much involved in the theatrics. A taster is exposed to coy smiles and baritone charm as he toys in the eroticism of taste. Capable of leaving you out of breath and flushed with fresh desire, he guides you through the lush tangle of Locals wines.
His fling with spanish cuisine was a flash-in-the-pan romance, and having over imbibed in the culture he felt the draw of home. But the ideas of tapas, changing countryside and the moonscape of a lover's smile had all stuck. The creative spark was growing into a heartfelt flame. Back in the volcanic folds of Alexander Valley he began to dabble in the corners of a wine industry which was just beginning to explode into the juggernaut we know today. Working in all aspects of the process he started as a cellar rat and slowly crawled up the ranks until he helmed a crowned ship in Sonoma. But in his heart he still longed for private cellar and clusters of grapes dusted in the local secrets and consecrated with creek song.
Eventually this desire, the same that had him dancing in the streets and drunkenly fleeing bulls, drove him to create his own label. There he was once again responsible for all aspects of the winery, so specialized were the batches he created. Working with varietals few winemakers dare to tempt he spent nearly a decade capturing aspects of the Sonoma countryside. The flame still burns bright and his heart was so filled with a happiness that to this day he remains light on his feet.
Today Patrick arms passing tasters with tidbits from the vast treasure trove of his wine knowledge. He understands the geographical significance, the scientific roles of the sun and our local microclimates, even more so he knows the desires of the women and men who crafted the wines which line Locals’ walls, they are the devout who worked with him between the vines. On the verge of a cheerful retirement he continues to pair wine with the people who enjoy it so much. Going forward in the future he will be reaching out to club members and personally alerting them to the arrival of wines which they have enjoyed in the past and to new wines which may pique interest. If you know us then you know to pick up his call, or better yet stop by Locals and see what Patrick and our many wines have to offer.
by Sam Styles