One in a series introducing the characters of Sotto Voce.
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Don't talk to Greg Kennedy about being the next big thing.
Don't talk to Greg Kennedy about millennial marketing.
In fact, if you want to talk about developing a brand name, Greg Kennedy would rather you simply not talk to him at all.
The enigmatic winemaker at the heart of Sotto Voce comes across as a bit of a loner when we first meet him, and it's by his own design. A trust fund baby with the weight of family expectations on his broad shoulders, he followed his parents' plans for his future just long enough to complete an Ivy League education, claim his trust fund and move to the remote hills of Sonoma County in California's wine country.
Sipping at the rich red wine, he shared his story of the smart kid who grew up with piano lessons and school orchestra, who came out to his family in his early teens and eventually declared his wish to pursue a degree in music. He spoke of a successful family, seemingly uncomfortable with his sexuality, who refused to subsidize a college education that wouldn’t lead to a respectable career and held both his tuition and a trust fund hostage to conformity.
“I got accepted to Princeton, Yale and Cornell.”
“Yale has a great music program,” Tom said.
“And Cornell was furthest away,” Greg added.
But peel back the layers of Greg Kennedy, and there's much more to him than a denim shirt and surly attitude, much of which he actively hides. Though guardedly private, the young vintner also earns the respect of his winemaking peers, and ultimately sacrifices his privacy to help his community.
We learn that Greg is smart, caring, a little shy and more than a little lonely in the isolated hillside retreat he has built for himself—as far away from his upbringing as possible. But remnants of that world follow him to California, both in the form vintners from rival wineries as well as an attractive New York wine critic who is trying to organize a competition between the big name wineries of Napa and the artisan wineries of Sonoma.
I loved writing Greg Kennedy. He's a series of contradictions— a quiet leader, a lonely man who chooses to cut himself off from the world of his youth, and a smart guy with integrity who sometimes makes poor choices.
He also happens to be that hot guy who doesn't entirely grasp or care about how attractive he is.
Greg is the heart of Sotto Voce, a winemaker who is passionate about his craft, and learns to be passionate about love.