Meet Our Team – Bill

Bill Thompson is the owner and winemaker for Wandering Cellars and a partner with Croze and Smith Wooton.  After a very successful engineering career, Bill chased his dream and entered the wine industry.

Bill helps with all aspects of our business and splits time between Minnesota and the Napa Valley.

Favorite music to listen to at work?

Styx Radio on Pandora

What is your favorite wine from our companies?

Debut and Melange

What is your favorite wine outside of ours?

Barrel fermented and aged Chenin Blanc’s from South Africa

If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be? What would you eat?

My mom’s I lost them when I was very young.  My parents told me I loved to hang out at their farm.  So, it would have to be farm fresh grilled vegetables, mashed farm grown potatoes slathered in real butter and garlic with a great steak from their farm raised cattle.

What is your favorite part of the wine industry?

Tasting our wines with new friends and family.

What is your favorite meal? What wine would you pair with it?

Pasta Carbonara with a barrel fermented Chardonnay. The creamy mouthfeel pairs great with the carbonara.

Who in the wine industry do you admire?

Pierre Seillan of Verite Wines. He is my inspiration to produce world-class wines true to the varietal.

Do you prefer aged wines or younger wines? Why?

I prefer an aged wine. I love the old earthy ground floor notes from a red blend or Cabernet Sauvignon.  With an aged white, I love the nutty aromas and flavors.

Weirdest/most interesting wine story?

Meeting Jess Jackson of Kendall Jackson wines at a Verite wine event many years ago. He was a humble man and very easy to talk to.

What is your fondest wine memory?

Chris and I were sitting outside of a restaurant now called PF8 Nitro Ice Cream Lab in Yountville. We were having breakfast, I recall Chris saying she was not ready to fly back that day.  At that moment I said let’s stay another day.  I did not even get the words out and she said yes.  A quick call to Delta and we enjoyed another day in Napa.

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