For Yuri Vanetic, wine has turned business into a cultural experience.

Yuri Vanetic was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be the California Lottery Commissioner. And before that, the popular governor appointed a Ukrainian-American attorney to serve on the California Criminal Justice Commission. Vanetic is a political operative and Washington insider who occasionally represents Congress and foreign business and political leaders — some of whom have become lifelong friends. But of all the people he’s met and the places he’s visited—through the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Caucasus—Vanetic says his most remarkable experiences have been with people who share a common love for wine. .

A wine collector for over 22 years, Yuri Vanetic has tasted wines in Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Ukraine, Poland, Turkey, Moldova, Germany, China, Republic of Georgia, Canada and 20 different regions. They think about wine.

His wine prowess isn’t exactly a secret—it’s the subject of a feature in Rob’s report—but aside from the occasional magazine interview, Vanetic is private about his wine choices, the places he visits and the relationships he creates together. Desire for wine.

Vanetic says that wine not only led him to new business projects, but also helped him solve complex problems for his clients.

“Whether I’m meeting with a presidential candidate in a troubled Eastern European country or a corporate executive in the south of France, the conversation often turns to wine,” says the lawyer-cum-political strategist.

“The reason is simple,” he explains. “Many alpha types who seek meaning and influence the world around them drink and collect wine. It is a magnet for the curious and sensitive. I remember a meeting I once had with a prominent religious leader in Israel. He was rude, difficult to get in and get along with, and the negotiations went nowhere, until the issue of Israeli wine came up.

Vanetic fondly recalls the 2016 Gva’ot Masada Bordeaux-style blend, describing notes of chocolate ganache and cigar tobacco, and fondly describing it as if to a close friend. It can age better than Bordeaux red.

“We met instantly.” Vanetic laughs in a whisper.

“Getting wine with someone or sharing a particular region or wine is like discussing your puppy with your older kids,” Vanetic continues. “People smile and their guard is down.”

But to get a seat at the most special table, just liking wine alone won’t cut it. You must have the taste – and knowledge – of a good sommelier. Vanetic makes it clear: you are measured by the type of wine you drink.

“Recently I was negotiating terms with a client from Eastern Europe,” recalls Vanetic. “He promised to give me a Screaming Eagle issue in 1992 if our venture was successful. This is an inexpensive California cult wine for many. The sipping “Screagle” as he referred to me, the proud businessman, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, or DRC as it is known for short, was surprised to appreciate me and treat me not as a service provider but as an equal. “

Vanetic asked me if I knew about the DRC. i won’t. But rest assured, I am not alone. Domaine de la Romanne-Conti – which sells its entry-level wine Corton for over €1,000 and Monopol La Tache for over €4,000 – opens its doors to exclusive importers or excellent vintages and produces only a few thousand bottles a year to maintain its strict quality standards.

“If you’re thinking of stopping by the winery, don’t waste your time because you won’t get in,” he smiles. “Interestingly, the street next to it is called Rue de Temps Perdue, the street of lost time.

Such wines become the stuff of legends. Ownership alone is the creator of the situation. As a result, some buy it not to drink, but to collect or buy as an investment – often to the chagrin of manufacturers.

An “old guard” of businessmen and office-bearers in Eastern Europe, he told me: “In business, wine makes you an equal and can turn rivals into collaborators.” degree”

For the right few who share the love and palate for delicious wine… the stories and the history… the joy of sharing with others… the high level of gathering… when you meet each other, it breaks down walls and creates bonds… the great equalizer and “business”. It turns into a cultural experience.

“I remember visiting Moldova and meeting business leaders there,” says the avid historian. “Later, the merchant client visited me in the famous cellars and told me the historical origins of his favorite Negro de Purcari wine. He told me the story of how the practice of baptism was established in 1827, when Tsar Nicholas I issued a special decree to establish the first special winery in Purcari in Bessarabia…

to be continued.

“Some time ago I negotiated a hotel in the Caucasus. The opponent’s counsel – an Austrian lawyer – started talking about Georgian wine and how the special way of making wine in Qvevri is the oldest method of wine production… Well, we talked for a while and it turned out that he collects. An unusual California wine is popular among followers of wine critic Robert Parker’s Picks and Scores. The rare concoction is called Sine Cua Non… When the partner of the largest law firm found out that I was also collecting my favorite wine, he melted with joy. Now we meet each other in business.

This love of wine… opened wonderful doors in business for the Ukrainian-American. It’s a great negotiation tool, and it’s about showing gratitude and respect to people who have incredible elastic resources.

“In business, wine is more than culture,” he says.

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