WHAT INSPIRES accomplished professionals to abandon successful careers in finance or law for an uncertain future in the business of wine? Whether they’re starting over as wine critics, wine merchants or sales agents, they’re clearly answering some kind of call. Here are a few case studies of those who made the leap into wine in hopes of greater fulfillment—perhaps even happiness—and one doctor-vintner who juggles two demanding careers.
"While some jettison one profession for a new career in wine," Dr. Laura Catena "manages both—on two different continents, no less. She practices medicine in San Francisco while…working around the clock in her role as managing director of both Luca Winery and Bodega Catena Zapata, one of Argentina’s most important wineries, which she co-manages with her father, Nicolás Catena."
Dr. Catena “...sees the benefit of combining the professions. Both require a science background and team work, but there is an important emotional aspect as well. “Medicine makes you work the empathy muscle,” she said. “When my winery staff talks to me, I listen as if listening to a patient.”