If you’re a friend or client of Austin lawyer Bill Reid (pictured), chances are he mailed you a nice bottle of cabernet or merlot over the holidays. (Keep the Paul Giamatti commentary to yourself if you’ve seen the movie “Sideways.”) Reid even sent recent adversary Rod Phelan, a Dallas Baker Botts partner against whose clients Reid recently settled a case, two bottles of Andrew Lane wine.
Why that particular Napa Valley vintage? Because Reid has been a part owner of the private label wine for the past 10 years, he says.
“I fell in love with good wine 20 years ago. And I finally figured out a way to beat the middle man. So, I made it myself,” says Reid, a partner in Reid Collins & Tsai.
Reid got the idea of producing his own vino by pondering the prospect with his good friend Rob Scott, whose two cousins live in Napa. When Reid found out he could buy high quality grapes on the open market and produce his own wine at a price per bottle that was way below retail, he decided to go into business with the three men. They created the Andrew Lane wine, named after the two cousins, Andrew and Lane Dickson.
“It’s not the biggest venture in the world, but it is the most fun,” Reid says. “I just drink a bunch of free wine. I don’t take a dime out of the business; I just take wine out,” including bottles for holiday gifts, he says.
“We don’t have a winery; that’s when you actually make the grapes and sell the grapes. We buy large barrels of wine and put together what we think is a pretty nice bottle of cabernet,” Reid says. “Maybe you can get some tasting notes out of Mr. Phelan?”
— John Council