Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vanessa Hoelsher

The first time Vanessa Hoelsher visited her father at work, she was heartbroken.Although as a little girl in Atlanta, Ga. she didn’t know a thing about wine, Vanessa knew Chateau Ste. Michelle. Her father, Paul Hoelsher, was a Georgia marketing executive at the then-upstart Washington state winery, so the words were on her towels, t-shirts, writing paper, pool raft and a hundred otherthings. Indeed at her home in Atlanta’s East Cobb County, a large, handsome picture of the winery hung conspicuously on the dining room wall. She just knew her father worked in that building and made all of those wonderful things she found around the house.However, on the day Vanessa first went to work with her father, she saw he did not go to that chic building from the picture and did not make fun t-shirts and rafts emblazoned with the words “Chateau Ste. Michelle.” She was horribly crushed. “It’s a funny story now, but at the time I was so disappointed,”Vanessa laughs.Little girls grow up of course, and ultimately Vanessa came to appreciate her father’s standing in the wine world. Paul Hoelsher founded a brokerage that dealt the wines of Caymus, Bonny Doon, Clos Du Val andRaymond. “I don’t know if we were the largest (wine brokerage) in the country, but we were certainly one of them,” says the elder Hoelsher. He also worked for Coca-Cola’s wine division when it had one and as a regional manager for Beaulieu Vineyards. In general, wine’s importance in the Hoelsher household issomething Vanessa eventually recognized and avidly embraced.“I love this business,” she says. “The people are so colorful and interesting. If you go to a wine trade show, it’s so different than going to a trade show for Home Depot or for golf. Or even radio. They’re fun.”In fact radio is where Vanessa got her modeling start, appearing on more than 40 billboards for an Atlanta station’s morning show. Then a friend’s husband who already shot pictures for Playboy magazine got Vanessa in front of the right people and suddenly she was Miss September 2005. “Playboy opened doors for me,” Vanessa says, “and it was an incredible experience.” By all accounts, her family, including her father, was extremely supportive.In a situation that seems to please them both, father and daughter work together now importing and representing an international portfolio of wines. Vanessa also is developing the VH series, a group of $20-$30 wines aimed at fine dining restaurants and upscale retail outlets. One label, Bellisima, represents a group of Italian wines and is available now in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Georgia. Two more labels will be out early in 2007; Moxie, a Shiraz and sparkling Shiraz from Australia and Jolie, a white blend and a Cabernet Sauvignon made by Dry Creek Vineyards. Smart, beautiful and passionate about wine, Vanessa Hoelsher seems to have the world at tips of her manicured fingers. However, her proud father thinks her determination may be what sets her apart. “Vanessa is a very focused young lady. If she sets her mind to something, she will get it.”


1 comment:

Ryanski1 said...

Vanessa is cute. I think that she has a great future, and that the wine business needs her. Vanessa is a great person, and beautiful. Vanessa has a lot of character, and is a wonderful woman. I hope that her father will help her begin to work in the wine business with him, and help her make a fortune in it. Thank you!
Brendan Ryan
The Brendan Ryan Company
Houston, Texas