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The Vintage Years of Jim Seitz

Three decades after he first tasted the grape, a Vero Beach engineer has created his dream wine cellar.

Jim Seitz knew just what he wanted when he designed this, his fifth wine cellar.

Jim Seitz knew just what he wanted when he designed this, his fifth wine cellar.

When Jim Seitz joined some friends for dinner 35 years ago, he had no idea of what that evening of fine food and wines would lead to. Back then, he says, he knew next to nothing about wine; vintage and varietals were not part of his vocabulary. Today, he speaks fluent “wine-eze,” and thanks those friends for introducing him to a passion that eventually led to an extensive personal collection that includes wines from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Australia and the U.S.

“I was in California when I tried wine for the first time,” Seitz recalls. “I saw how much everyone was enjoying themselves, and I was intrigued. Being an engineer, I decided to explore further, so I started at the beginning of the alphabet and bought a case at Century Liquor in Rochester, New York.

“As irony would have it, some 10 years later I became personal friends with the store’s owner, Sherwood. My wife Bonnie and I still get together with him when we’re up that way. We’ll take him to one of his favorite restaurants and he’ll bring the wine."

Read the entire article in the January 2009 issue