Life Between the Vines

Four years ago, Ray Fister, the owner of Milwaukee-based Fifth Floor Recording Inc., and Jeff McClellan, partner at Milwaukee-based Marx McClellan Thrun, have a common passion for wine and the wine making process. The pair has traveled to wine country in California on a number of different occasions and fell in love with the area.

But they realized that wine also has an intimidation factor for wine lovers who are more novices by nature. They are trying to solve that problem with their Life Between the Vines website project.

“Our goal is to make wine less intimidating for people who just enjoy a good wine every now and then,” McClellan said. “Life Between the Vines is designed to educate and entertain wine lovers from all categories of expertise and do it in a less intimidating way.”

Created by Fister and McClellan, Life Between the Vines is a website that features stories and podcasts from wine makers from all over the world. The intent is to educate visitors and wine lovers on some of the less known wines and wine makers, McClellan said.

“Being able to tell the stories behind good wines sometimes makes them taste even better,” he said.

The pair has conducted nearly 50 interviews.

“I’ve learned so much over the past few years from the interviews I’ve done for Life Between the Vines,” Fister said. “It’s remarkable, every time I walk away from an interview I feel like it’s the best one we ever did.”

McClellan and Fister have plans to travel and expand the interviews beyond Napa Valley to wineries in other U.S. states, Australia, South America. They also plan to write a book and expand their use of video.

“The idea is to present wine in a fun and interesting way and to get some exposure for some of the smaller family-owned wineries around the world,” Fister said. “They are all great people and they make great wines that are very affordable. We just want to share their stories with our visitors.”

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