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The My Chauffeur Story

In 1998. they began with not a lot more than a daydream and tolerable appearance. How did these two Portland boy's grow to be the greatest wine tour barons in the world?

Phil "Dig" Colby and Antoine Sekonius had been classmates for a while. They always wanted to start a venture together. Something unusual and exciting that would work with the extraordinary Portland business environment. Something for the history books.

 a moment of fun with one of our chauffeurs

After a lot of searching under boulders, bourbons and bodices, they discovered what they were searching for... wine tours!!

Dig with his stunningly gifted business acumen, and Antoine with his apparently continuous stream of acquaintances, set out to conquer Portland and the Willamette Valley.

After an encounter with some Jesters and flute players, they were ready to set up shop in the "underbelly" of Portland --- the Willamette Valley!!! There was only one dilemma, neither Dig nor Antoine had ever done wine tours before!

So they left for the sunny San Francisco suburb of Napa, California, where they met up with some wine tour masters, and learned about wine and wine tours from the ground up. These grisly old wine tour masters knew how to do it and were hardly agreeable to hand over their secrets at first. But the charisma and tolerable looks of our champions in time won over the wine tour masters, and the secrets were revealed to them.  We were surprised when one of them said, 'hey Antoine, strap this one on' referring to the 'exotic' wine carrying tote bag used to transfer the wine from one local to another.  Oh California... one of the secrets of the trade, and it was a good laugh.

They learned a lot: like when to spit, about barrel tasting and the proper handling of the champagne flute.  Also the intricacies of a Pinot Noir, and when and when not to use such phrases as 'Hedonistic and round, characteristically developed' when referring to the wine.  And countless other tricks of the trade were now in the brains, hands, and notepad of Dig and Antoine. They returned to Portland amusing the locals with tales of Arnold Schwarzenegger sipping one of Chateau Montelena's 1882 Cab's and spitting!; a Banaban documentary on Hindu Television featuring My Chauffeur; and the foolish, crazy times in Napa Valley -- opera singers, ventriloquists, Burgundian Aristocrats, a guy who somehow kept a bunch of plates spinning atop a wooden pole, Chinese acrobats, and dogs who climbed ladders. Oh California... Portland learned of these tricks and My Chauffeur soon became the best wine tour company in the world, Madre mía!!

So after flying in some 'Manchu’s bark/Cinchona' potions from down south, attaining the 'bricks and mortar' of their trade, the boys started playing around with their techniques that soon became known locally, nationally, and global!

Now 15 years later, folks are chatting about My Chauffeur Wine Tours in Somaliland and Samoa Island.  China has some trendy people wearing the latest My Chauffeur bikinis, and companions have shared a tour tale or two off the Ivory Coast and Senegal of all places!  I'm sure some parts of the world have yet to be infiltrated. Stay watching!

On request, Dig or Antoine can discuss with your group specific wine related topics including, but not limited to:

  1. What are the ancient winemaking techniques!?

  2. 'Dynamic' Winemaking!!  

  3. Vineyards of our Hills.

  4. What makes the North Willamette Valley wine growing region so priceless?

  5. What is Terroir?

  6. And the concept of a Vigneron of all things.

Finally, on a more serious note; we are a small boutique wine tour company offering the highest level of luxury limousine service and quality in wine and culinary travel... more.

illustration by David Dees;  the preceding story is fictional, and any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental.


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