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A lifetime knowledge of wine, a passion for the business of wine and an exceptionally gifted palate make our consulting expert, Ralph Sands, a commanding presence in the wine world. Ralph's tremendous enthusiasm for his work is equaled only by his love of people. Sharing his discoveries with new friends always brings Ralph great joy.
A fifth-generation San Franciscan, Ralph lives in Redwood City, California where he has worked as a Senior Wine Specialist and Bordeaux Expert at one of America's great wine retailers for more than thirty years.
Ralph's interest in wines began well before his career did. By the time he began working in the wine industry in 1978, Ralph had taken many regular visits to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. At that time, these now world-famous wine destinations were quiet agricultural areas - tranquil places to visit and discover new wines. It would not be long before the world of wine changed forever.
In the spring of 1990, Ralph was sent to evaluate the 1989 Bordeaux vintage, a task that required his tasting two thousand wines in twelve days at every classified Chateaux in Bordeaux and in the right bank estates of Petrus, Cheval Blanc, Angelus, Ausone and La Fleur. These tastings continued in the offices of the most influential negociants in Bordeaux. Not surprisingly, Ralph has evaluated every vintage since then for his employers. In 1995, he was hired to lead numerous wine tours through Bordeaux including "Taste the Greats of Bordeaux". Inspired to form his own small tour company, Ralph has led extensive tours of 27 different estates called "Taste the Greats of Bordeaux with Ralph Sands".
In 2003 Ralph was honored to be inducted into The Commanderie du Bontemps Medoc, Graves, Barsac et Sauternes at Chateaux Mouton Rothschild on the 250th Anniversary of the estate as a Wine Expert and Wine Educator.
In his rewarding and colorful career, it is safe to say that Ralph has tasted about 70,000 wines. He looks forward to meeting you and sharing his knowledge, his stories and many future wine adventures.