Todd Newman’s journey to the Napa Valley is a story in itself. Originally from North Dakota, he left with $1,500 and an Amtrak train ticket, determined to carve out his own somewhere and someway, through grit and a sheer will to see what else existed, he leapt into the Restaurant Industry in 2003 under the famed restaurateur Pat Kuleto. Here he collected tip money that would be the early foundation of what would become Dakota Shy. His friend and mentor, now Master Sommelier Dennis Kelly, formally of the French Laundry for over ten years, arranged for an opportunity to work at the famed Michelin Star Martini House in Saint Helena.
From there he found work scrubbing barrels and sitting in on Sundays at the Revana Family Vineyards Estate. He would rise from the ranks of Cellar Rat – to Cellar Intern – and eventually Cellar Master. Once the production side was formally understood, he transitioned into his real passion, Hospitality. Here he honed his craft for the next seven years playing critical roles in the early development of two new wine projects under the family of Revana Wines. Once he had enough saved, he purchased two tons of fruit in 2008 and began that dream that has become Dakota Shy.
A transition in 20012 to Hourglass Winery where he was able to build a DTC program for a cult wine was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. Jeff Smith, Todd credits Jeff Smith, the founder of Hourglass, as one of the most influential people that helped him get to where he is today. Dakota Shy is also crafted at the Hourglass Winery and Todd has a chance to tell the story of the two wineries simultaneously.
Dakota Shy was truly borne from a dream and desire to be part of something greater – something that can influence peoples lives in ways that matter. Wine is and will forever be the vehicle that allowed Todd to dream and pursue those question marks of unknown he held for sometime. May it be, that charge that lights up your day – not the wine itself, but the value it brings. So much more than a beverage but a way of life.