Thatcher Baker-Briggs has made a career of stepping outside his comfort zone, always pushing himself to learn and master something new. His professional trajectory boasts key positions in kitchens and dining rooms of some of the most influential restaurants in the world including then three-Michelin starred Saison under Chef Joshua Skenes (2014-2017), the highly regarded Takazawa in Tokyo, and at two-Michelin starred COI in San Francisco. These distinguished training grounds have given Thatcher the knowledge, tools and the reach to curate highly specialized wine services for collectors around the globe.
Based in the United States, Switzerland and Asia, Thatcher’s clients are leaders in a wide range of industries including technology, publishing, finance and politics. Some have been collecting fine wines for decades; others are just getting started.
One of the most important services he provides is procuring fine wines from trusted sources. “Relationships are really the only way to get the wines that you’re after,” says Thatcher. “One might be coming from the original owner, who bought it straight from the Domaine, and the other might have been purchased at auction. That’s why provenance is so important.”
With particular expertise in the wines of Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux, the northern Rhône and Germany, Thatcher thoughtfully approaches his clients’ cellars based on his intimate understanding of their palates and interests. For those who need assistance with cellar organization, he and his team inventory and manage the contents so clients know exactly what they have at any given time, and which wines are ready to drink.
When clients travel and wish to have special wines waiting at their destinations, he takes care of every detail to ensure that the bottles are settled and ready to enjoy when clients arrive. For host-ed wine dinners, Thatcher handles everything from procuring the wines to selecting glassware to working with the Chef to find a harmony between the food and wine. “Everybody’s a little bit different in their needs,” Thatcher says. “I think that’s the important thing about a service like mine—providing individualized care for each client.”
Director of Sales & Logistics
Like a fine Swiss watchmaker, Noah Dranow has to have an incredible eye for detail and precision. As Director of Sales and Logistics for Thatcher’s Wine Consulting, his primary focus is on logistics, ensuring the smooth arrival and departure, packaging, and tracking of valuable wines for their discerning clients. Noah is preternaturally suited to these tasks, having honed his service skills, eye for detail, and refined palate as Sommelier and Wine Director at some of the most notable restaurants in the Bay Area including Michael Mina and the Saison Hospitality Group.
Noah met Thatcher while at Saison where they worked closely and he recognized a like-minded colleague who was driven, passionate, meticulous, and who genuinely cared about everything he did and the people he was doing it for. This shared ethic made for an ideal working relationship and when Thatcher established his own wine consulting business, Noah knew it was just a matter of time before they would be working together again. Noah joined Thatcher’s burgeoning wine consulting business as he expanded into retail and online sales in February 2020. Noah continues to be based out of San Francisco, and one of his biggest goals for 2021 is to import and bring wines directly from Europe.
If there is one thing everyone on Thatcher’s wine team is passionate about, it is Champagne. As Noah states, “One thousand percent!” that and the next generation of winemakers, in Burgundy, Champagne, Germany, and other wine regions, who are doing really incredible things. Tradition in these regions with centuries of history is super important but a lot of things are changing, including the climate, and young elastic minds have the ability to look at things a bit differently and are crucial to the advancement, progression, and preservation of these traditions.
Director of Private Clients
After a decade in hospitality and wine, most recently as the Wine Director for Wine Spectator Grand Award and two-Michelin starred The Modern in New York. Courtney Wieland, 30 years old, has joined Thatcher’s Wine Consulting as Director of Private Clients. She bonded with Founder Thatcher Baker-Briggs while collaborating on a client event. "This is definitely an exciting new chapter working with Thatcher on his innovative wine endeavor,” she states.
Courtney looks forward to building long-lasting client relationships that are almost a part of everyday life.’ “I think any great relationship within the wine community is built on trust, hospitality, and conversation,” she says. In her role she oversees cellar management and acquisitions for individuals, blending her knowledge of wine by translating the complex and often highbrow world of wine into language that’s simple and straightforward.
Her philosophy is centered on the belief that wine is humble, exciting, and approachable. “I want people to have a good time and experience the new things, or enjoy the classics." She is keeping tabs on the growing interest in Champagne that has been developing these past few years. Wine enthusiasts are finally starting to look at Champagne and understand the diversity, versatility and complexity of it--moving beyond its previous designation as a celebratory start to a meal. This movement mirrors the overall theme in the wine industry. On that train of thought, Courtney is enamoured of the new wave of winemakers, ”There are some very talented people in the winemaking world doing some awesome things, without fully breaking tradition, but branching out a bit, with a bigger sense of curiosity and willingness.”