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Kimberlee & Bryan on the road in Cincinnati (left), with Jeff Ruby (right)

As you can imagine, a part of my job is being brand ambassador. I am often invited or given the opportunity to travel to represent Markham Vineyards across the country - which is exactly what Markham Vineyards President Bryan Del Bondio & I have been doing this winter! Our recent travels have taken us to the frozen midwest to sunny Florida to the always welcoming deep south. Of course managing a successful brand for SO many years is only possible due in part to key players. Bruce Markham had the insight to purchase our amazing vineyards for less than 2% of their present day value.  This is one of the ways we can keep our wine pricing fair! Bryan Del Bondio has been at the leadership helm for nearly four decades. His duties range from road warrior to brilliant negotiator to, often times, weekend chef as well.  These two ambitious men built the Markham brand and it has continued to flourish. I am honored to be a part of its rich heritage.

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Kate & Bruce Markham (left), Bryan bottling the 1978 Markham Cabernet Sauvignon -  the very first Markham wine (middle), which was shown at a winemaker dinner last week (right)!

Showing my wines has allowed me to visit nearly every state and even a couple of countries. During my tenure I have seen patterns emerge. Our distributors who are our partners have become lasting friends through the years. Watching them pay their dues with their weekly accounts we visited together as we hopefully charmed our way into new ones allows us to applaud their inevitable rise to the top. Certainly the winemaker dinners are something to be coveted, as my growing waistline can attest. But seeing our favorite chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers and wine shops expand their careers and businesses is truly exciting. Most of us reconnect easily with our mobile phone pictures of our growing families and pets when our paths collide.

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Markham Sauvingon Blanc on ice at the Houston airport (left), Markham winemaker dinner at Gianmarco's in Birmingham (middle), the wine cellar at Bern's in Tampa.

As it usually does, it always comes back home to the people who make the Markham wines - ultimately making Bryan and myself shine each time we show our wine to new people or old friends.  It is our team of players at the winery who work with the care and passion helping to create each and every bottle of Markham Vineyards wines.  

Have our great wines always started in the vineyards? ✔ CHECK!
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Do we practice patient winemaking with quality commitment to the details? ✔ CHECK!
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Does that hard work keep us looking good on the road? ✔ CHECK!

- Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls