Twenty-five years ago, I was dining at Masa’s restaurant in San Francisco with Alice Waters. During our conversation, she asked if I’d heard the news: Bruce Neyers was leaving Joseph Phelps’s employ at his winery near St. Helena. It was before cell phones, so I stood and hurried to Masa’s phone. Bruce’s wife, Barbara, answered. No, Bruce wasn’t there. “Give him a message ASAP, please! Tell him Kermit Lynch said, ‘Do nothing ’til you hear from me.’ ” Bruce called the next day, we met and negotiated, and I succeeded in hiring one of America’s greatest wine men. What a coup! It wasn’t the feather in my cap; it was a closet full of caps all well feathered. What did he bring to KLWM? Everything positive you can possibly imagine.
I am horribly disappointed to announce Bruce’s retirement. He cannot be duplicated or imitated. He will, however, remain active in the wine business, up in his lovely Napa Valley winery.
Bruce, I’m raising my glass to you. Your work here with me was truly epic. Santé, et merci mille fois.