The Bespoke Collection is becoming the ultimate experience within the Napa Valley, finding a delicate balance between hospitality, wine, art, scenic locations, and design.
Talking with Creative Director, Founder, and Owner Michael Polenske, he admits that since his time in college, he knew that he wanted to balance business, wine, and the great hospitality found within the Napa Valley at some point in his career.
“When I graduated, I graduated with a degree in finance and an interest and a love of wine. I said I want to marry my two passions. I love what I’m doing in financial services, but I would love to do it in the wine industry.”
Yet Michael’s start in wine country would take a back seat to his first job with American Express Financial Advisors, who would have Michael working in wine country zip codes, but only part of the time. Instead, his other energy was spent in the burgeoning location that would quickly become what is modern day Silicon Valley.
This technology boom, however, was a blessing to Michael as he was promoted to President and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank & Trust Co after heading up the private banking business in the Western U.S. for J.P. Morgan allowing him to return to Napa to start his own businesses
In 2003, Michael finally began to move forward on his original intention by acquiring the highly regarded Blackbird Vineyard and then creating the label and the brand which served as the cornerstone for the creation of the Bespoke Collection.
“We had bigger visions for what we wanted to do. The thought was to have different businesses that complemented each other, but were in different niches. We have art, we have furnishings, we have antiques, that all fit into ÆRENA Galleries. So that’s one of the major things. Then we have Blackbird Vineyards, which actually has four wine labels under it.”
All of these developments are under the umbrella of the Bespoke Collection, which even now, continues to expand what’s capable of one brand within the Valley.
“The new thing we’re toying with is called Bespoke Services, which is a consulting arm of what we do. We get approached often by other people in the Valley that are very complimentary of what we have built and what we have done with our branding and marketing. And they have asked for help, and we have declined for many, many years. But finally, we thought, maybe we should be saying ‘Yes!’.”
In 2018, the Bespoke Collection will be releasing their Services plan, expanding on Michael’s goal to have the Bespoke Collection become the ideal destination for any consumers looking for the ultimate Napa Valley experience.
RiverHouse, the Bespoke Collection flagship, offers the perfect combination of Bespoke’s wine, art, and design experiences.
Being the only tasting room on the river, along with offering a full art gallery for visitors to have their senses emboldened, the Bespoke Collection has found the ideal balance between the different experiences the Valley offers — all under one roof.