James Lukezic, an Executive Managing Director, has been surrounded by wine his entire life. My family has been making and selling wine for centuries. They have owned wineries in Slovenia and the Collio region of Italy,” James says. Even though he has a strong professional portfolio as a retirement consultant and financial analyst, this didn’t stop him from becoming a sommelier. “My favorite wines are Napa Cabernet Sauvignons and Pinot noirs from Oregon’s Willamette Valley,” he says. While some of his favorite wines come from wineries in the United States, as an avid traveler, James Lukezic recognizes the great wine regions of the world.
According to James Lukezic, even though the wine production in France has gone down by 11% since 2007, France remains one of the top producers in the world. The major grapes in France include Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot, Carignan, and more. James Lukezic, whose family has owned wineries in Italy, points out that Italy still remains a large wine producer. Some of the major grapes in Italy include Prosecco, Barbera, Trebbiano Toscano, and Nero d’Avola. Still, Italy has also reduced its wine production by 7% since 2007.
Although Spain doesn’t get the same recognition as France and Italy, it has some of the largest vineyard acreages in the world. Spain still holds its own against its neighbors with grapes such as Garnacha, Airen, Bobal, and Tempranillo. As one of James Lukezic’s favorites, 99% of the wine produced in the United States comes from California. The major grapes in California include Melot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel.
Argentina is also making its mark on the world as one of the top wine producers, according to James Lukezic. Over the last few years, wine production in Argentina has seen a growth of 8%, which has this South American country to hold one of the top 5 spots in wine production in the world. The major grapes in Argentina include Malbec, Bonarda, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
When he’s not adding wines to his extensive collection, James Lukezic focuses on his career as an executive for Old Slip Capital Partners. James Lukezic has also worked with financial giants such as Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Global Markets, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America in his successful career. Some of his other interests include setting up nonprofits, belonging to the United States Polo Association, New York City’s Fencers Club, and the American Helicopter Society.