Rudi Wiest started collecting fine wine in 1965, while working as a phone company engineer. A decade later, his fine wine hobby evolved into a small side business as he began representing top boutique importers from the Bay Area in Southern California. Rudi first discovered German fine wine with the 1971 vintage, and confirmed the category’s market potential with his successful brokerage of the 1975 and 1976 vintages. In the early 80s, Rudi accepted an early retirement offer from The Bell System and started selling wine with total focus. Following an introduction to the VDP by Fritz Haag, Rudi became actively involved with the organization and its president, Graf Erwein Matuschka. In 2007, Rudi received the VDP pin of honor in recognition of his contributions that have helped foster and promote Germany’s top-quality wines. While continuing to champion fine German Riesling, he has increased attention to promoting Germany’s other varietals and securing top restaurant placements for German wines across the country.