Welcome to the new website and meet the new owners!
Yes, the suspense has finally ended…
The Winehound has been purchased by two gentlemen who possess deep connections (and longtime residence) in Santa Barbara, and exhibit voluminous wine knowledge, along with the requisite fervor for all things oenological. Yes, they adore good vino, are adept at choosing it, and will definitely be excited to tell you all about it.
To say the shop is in good hands is an understatement, along the lines of “Mozart had a good ear for tunes.”
David Russell and Richard Heilman may very well be familiar names to you already, but if not, here is a bit of background they wanted us to pass along:
David Russell was the Wine Director at the Wine Cask from 1988 until 1999 and created a wine list which garnered the Wine Spectator’s prestigious (and highest) “Grand Award” in 1994. Before his recent return to Santa Barbara, Russell worked in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, bringing his customers the finest that the old world has to offer.
“In coming back to Santa Barbara, I feel like the Prodigal Son,” Russell said, “as my happiest and most productive years in the wine trade were spent here.”
Richard Heilman, like David, has a background of more than 30 years in the wine industry, accumulating experience in all sectors.
He began his career in retail, as manager and wine buyer for the Pierre Lafond store on the Mesa. Subsequently, he moved into the wholesale, importation, and production sides of the business.
“David and I hope to use our combined experience to not only honor the loyal customers and fine traditions established at The Winehound, but also to add a new dynamic to both the selections and service,” Heilman said.
“We will be offering aggressive pricing and an ever-expanding selection at all price points and in many styles, but with an emphasis, frankly, on wines of balance and finesse which reflect a sense of place, whether a $10 or $100 bottle. We will shift emphasis somewhat toward the Old World to achieve this, but given how impressed we are with the work of many local growers and winemakers, we’ll without question continue to offer the best of their wines as well.”