Michael Scaffidi ought to be in pictures, but his screenwriting career was waylaid by an unforeseen passion for wine. The southern California native majored in film and screenwriting at Loyola Marymount, but, like many, turned to bartending to help pay his bills. From his post behind the bar, this student of human nature became fascinated by his colleague, the sommelier. Scaffidi investigated the Court of Master Sommeliers. At the age of 23, he passed its first level.
Scaffidi’s career took him to Santa Barbara’s Bacara Resort before leading to The French Laundry, where he spent three years before moving on to San Francisco’s Campton Place and The Greenbrier Resort. While he loved the experience, he yearned for a more cosmopolitan lifestyle, and jumped at the chance to build a wine cellar worthy of the Jefferson name.
What followed was a great deal of research, intensive cellar design, the development of the ideal wine program, and the ongoing search for vintage Madeira. Scaffidi uses much of Jefferson’s travels and experience as the general basis for the hotel cellar, where he focuses his offerings on wines from around the world, also honoring Jefferson’s attempts at viniculture by celebrating the best of American wines.