Jason brings nearly 15 years of wine knowledge and experience to the San Francisco Wine Center.
As both a sommelier and wine director at two of the Bay Area’s most highly regarded restaurants, Vice President of Vintrust Wine Management and General Manager of Meteor Vineyard in Napa Valley, he has traveled extensively in the world’s classic wine regions buying, tasting and studying. Jason possesses invaluable insight into the business of fine and rare wine and is a passionate educator and student of wine.
Jason received his bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Santa Barbara and went on to study poetry at San Francisco State University. During this time he worked with famed chef Paul Bertolli at Oliveto restaurant in Oakland, and discovered his true calling. Jason notes, “Studying wine offered a way to fuse all of my interests: history and geology, language and human creativity.”
Jason began his career as sommelier at Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco. Considered one of the world’s finest restaurants, Gary Danko has been extensively featured in food and wine magazines around the world. In concert with esteemed sommelier Christie Dufault, he helped create one of the most extensive wine programs in the world. The wine list was acclaimed for its depth in Italy, Burgundy and Bordeaux, with First Growth Chateau represented to the late 1800’s. It was awarded the Wine Spectator Grand Award in 2001.
Jason continued his wine career as the opening wine director at Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg, CA, one of just five restaurants to receive a four-star rating by San Francisco Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer and recognized by Michelin with a prestigious two star rating. Cyrus’ opening list included a diverse and broad collection of the worlds rarest and most sought after wines, in addition to one of the greatest collections of artisanal selections from Sonoma County. Jason’s program was featured in many publications, including the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Food and Wine, and Wine and Spirits. Michael Bauer noted in his review that “few sommeliers have Alexander’s talent.”
In 2006, Jason returned to Restaurant Gary Danko as the Wine Director, enhancing the already prestigious wine program by continuing to develop unique relationships with small wineries, developing a program for long-term cellar investments in highly collectible wines and boosting international recognition through his involvement in food and wine events around the world.
In late 2007 Jason accepted an offer to become the Vice President of Wine Acquisitions at Vintrust Wine Management. There he oversaw the development of the e-commerce retail program, sourcing wines from private clients, wineries, auctions and traditional distribution networks to build a robust and diverse portfolio. Jason developed and implemented Vintrust’s operations in France, establishing a Negotiant house in Bordeaux, and developed the foundation for an online auction platform. Despite the U.S. falling into a recession, Jason expanded sales revenues 40% in 2008.
In March 2009, Jason resigned from his position at Vintrust and accepted an offer from Meteor Vineyard as their General Manager. Here he leveraged national connections to establish Meteor Vineyard as one of Napa Valley’s most promising upcoming stars.
Jason is an avid fan of the arts and is often found in the evenings at the theater. He notes that his perfect day is “surfing as the sun rises, driving to Squaw Valley for an afternoon of spring skiing, rushing back to San Francisco for an evening at the opera and then enjoying late night roast chicken and a great bottle of wine at NOPA.”