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Monday, July 16, 2012

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Paul Leary, President of Blackbird Vineyards Our Coverage Sponsored By Gabriel's Bar & Restaurant

Paul Leary

Gabriel’s Bar & Restaurant is an owner-operated Italian restaurant in New York City, conveniently located near Lincoln Center. As a widely recognized fine dining restaurant, a number of powerful people choose Gabriel’s Bar & Restaurant for their dining enjoyment due to our fresh, flavorful entrees, and world-class service. We have served as a hotspot for some of the most powerful, influential people, ranging from the celebrities we all know and love to important politicians, including President Bush and President Clinton. Peachy has Picked Gabriel's: We utilize only the freshest, finest ingredients to create each of our delectable dishes. We offer a vast selection of lunch and dinner options that are sure to please even the most discerning of palates. We also have an award-winning wine list, full bar selection, and delectable desserts to provide the perfect complement to your meal. For over 20 years, we have maintained our commitment to offering unforgettable dining options and attentive service. We want to ensure our patrons enjoy the best dining experience possible. Whether you want to relax in our bar with a red apple martini or blueberry mojito, or would like to enjoy our freshly baked breads and pasta in our comfortable dining room, we are confident you will not find a better fine dining experience elsewhere.
11 West 60th Street


Paul Leary joined Blackbird Vineyards as President in 2006. In the fall of 2008, Mr. Leary was instrumental in the launch of Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley, an art, wine and design collective in Yountville, CA. Leary’s continuous charge is to build Blackbird’s brand equity and financial returns by ensuring wine quality and spearheading niche marketing strategies that create consumer demand in the direct and wholesale distribution channels.

In 2011, Leary traveled to Mendoza, Argentina and established a partnership with The Vines of Mendoza to launch a new Argentinean brand, Recuerdo Wines, in the United States. With two of the world’s leading wine lifestyle companies together, Recuerdo Wines offer wine lovers one-of-a-kind, exclusive wine experiences both north and south of the equator.

As a leading Napa Valley entrepreneur and senior executive, Mr. Leary brings more than 10 years of marketing, sales and operating expertise to his position at Blackbird and Ma(i)sonry. During his seven year tenure at St. Helena-based Duckhorn Wine Company, Leary oversaw the marketing and consumer sales for three distinct wine brands including; Duckhorn, Paraduxx and Goldeneye.

“The goal is to differentiate Blackbird, by showcasing the pedigree of the vineyard and the talent of our winemaking team, and build upon the tremendous response from our consumers for the first five vintages of wines.” The wine industry, Leary notes, has become increasingly fragmented and competitive in a way that he believes renders mass advertising obsolete. The focus therefore is on niche marketing, establishing direct relationships with clients, and maximizing the chain of peer-to-peer referrals. “It’s up to us to create the entity and then to let our consumers tell the story,” Leary says.

Leary earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Government from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. He began his career in the food and beverage industry as general manager for Napa Valley’s noted restaurant, Tra Vigne before segueing into the wine industry. Paul and his wife live in the Napa Valley with their son and daughter. We are so pleased to announce Paul Leary as our latest Mover and Shaker! Peachy Deegan interviewed Paul for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What is your first memory of wine? 
Paul Leary: In the womb…

What should most people know about wine that most do not know? 
That it is an everyday passion…

What is a typical day like for you if there is any such thing as a typical day? 
Nothing is typical with two small children and a growing selection of wine brands…

What are your favorite Blackbird Vineyards wines of all time and your favorite non-Blackbirds Vineyards wines of all time? 
2005 Blackbird Vineyards Paramour; 1978 Chateau Beaucastel Blanc

How is your partnership with the wines of Mendoza going and do you have plans for more partnerships with other places? 
It is going well…and we are just beginning!

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence? 
My mother…

What are you proudest of and why? 
My family…

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? Continue to grow our team of dedicated employees…

What honors and awards have you received in your profession? 
My 5-year-old son saying that I must be the “best boss”

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
Sunset at the High Line 

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
Too many to state just one…

What is your favorite drink? 
Dark & Stormy

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party? 
I don’t cocktail…

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? 
Currently, Momofuko Noodle Bar

Who would you like to be for a day and why? 
A 747 pilot

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
A Hallah cart

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? 
Big East NCAA Tournament…

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 
Get Hallah food at 1am…

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why? 
Cormac McCarthy…to peer in to his literary mind.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? 
The ballet with my wife

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world? 
Be kind to everyone and everything…every day. 

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
Peachy's Picks!  Love reading about the restaurants you pick!

Have you drank The Peachy Deegan yet and if not, why not? 
I have not…

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
Napa Valley keeps you young…

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? 
Linked In

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