Mark Lee has had a passion for wine ever since he was “introduced” to it as a young teenager living, first, in Verdun, France, and then in Heidelberg, Germany. On his 16th birthday, he was treated to Champagne at a restaurant in Schwetzingen, Germany, and has continued that tradition ever since, missing only 3-4 birthdays.
After retiring from almost 40 years in government service and other pursuits, Mark decided that, now with time on his hands, he would become more serious with his passion for wine. Therefore, he first enrolled in the European Wine Academy’s “Master Sommelier & Wine Consultant” 2-year program and followed up with attending a certification course at the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) School in London, England.
Over the last several years, Mark has had the pleasure of meeting with and talking to many wine growers and makers in France, Germany, and Italy regarding their practices, issues, and future. Now, Mark is focusing his efforts on providing knowledge and insight to his retail customer base located in and around the Landstuhl, Kaiserslautern, and Ramstein region.
Mark’s oldest son, Christopher, is joining Mark in the operation of the retail wine store—de Vine—located in central Landstuhl where they are offering over 150 wines. Chris has many years of retail store sales, service, and operations and will be assisting Mark in running the business. Although a beer drinker—mainly Bitburger—Chris has “seen the light” and is now drinking and enjoying wine more and more. To increase his knowledge of wine and the wine industry, Chris has been doing extensive reading and independent research and will be attending one of the WSET certification courses in London in the near future.
In the meantime, Chris has visited vineyards and wineries in both France and Germany and has been involved in a number of directed wine tastings.