My name is Sam Chen, and I'm the owner and co-founder of Echelonwines, Inc. and the Echelonwines Private Wine Club. My goal is to offer highly rated wines with the best customer service possible. I'm also committed to giving Club members access to rare vintages and new gems at fair market prices.
The heart of our business is on the phone and across the table. We strive to make membership in the Echelonwines Private Wine Club a satisfying, personal experience, as you'd get from your local specialty shop. Like you, we enjoy talking about—and drinking!—good wine. If you live in the Bay Area, or are visiting from elsewhere, just schedule an appointment
and we'll be happy to meet you in person. In the meantime, you can read what some of our members have to say
Food and wine are in our blood
I founded Echelonwines in 2000 with my brother, Philip Chen. Growing up in Hong Kong and Nigeria, we were heavily influenced by both Asian cuisine and the exotic flavors of Africa. We each pursued culinary careers, and studied to be chefs at the California Culinary Academy. It was in this environment that we discovered the beauty of pairing fine wines with great food.
After working in various restaurants in San Francisco, we purchased Solano Grill and Bar
in Albany, California. Managing our own restaurant honed our skills in pairing wine and food, and let us see first-hand how people enjoyed our selections. In addition, our restaurant has been honored with several awards, including Wine Spectator's Best Award of Excellence
, the North American Restaurant Association’s Best Wine List
, and Wine Enthusiast's Award of Unique Distinction
Our original intention for Echelonwines was to help our restaurant clientele build collections of fine wines. Since then, Echelonwines has grown into a thriving, independent business centered around the Echelonwines Private Wine Club. We maintain close, personal ties with all of our members, and manage the Wine Club carefully. This way, we're better able to satisfy all of our mem bers' needs for hard-to-find wine. We currently accept new Club members only by direct referral from current members.
Small wineries and distributors love us
We also help wineries and wine distributors connect with enthusiasts and collectors beyond their own reach.
We attend tastings in California on a regular basis, and encourage suppliers to meet with us directly at our offices. Please contact us
to learn more about how we can support you and promote your wine.
Special thanks from Sam Chen
I want to recognize two people in particular for their recent contributions to Echelonwines. Matt Chun has been an invaluable resource for improving business operations, by managing our back office administration, leading our move to larger offices, and preparing wines for shipment. And Steven Brown of Mighty Pen Marketing
has led the development of my new email newsletter and this Web site. Many thanks to both of you!