Americas La Jolla

Branch Cellar

Our Cellar History

The W&F-LJ Wine Cellar has had several Cellar Masters over the years. William A. Plourde was the first, followed by Edward Muzzy and then his son Robert Muzzy.  The next Master Celliér was Dr. Frederick A. Frye who held the position from 2006.  In 2018, Richard Smith took over as Master Celliér.  Smith was previously an Associate Celliér beginning in 2009 working the cellar with Dr. Frye.

All of the W&F-LJ Master Callier’s have extensive knowledge of wine and have provided valuable research and recommendations to members since the organization's inception. The cellar's collection is of high quality and has been continuously cared for and supervised since its creation, which is a testament to its success.

The inception of the W&F-LJ Wine Cellar owes much to the profound passion and expertise of Dr. Harold C. Torbert. In 1984, we had the distinct privilege of acquiring his esteemed wine collection, a testament to his lifelong devotion to the art of wine.

Dr. Torbert, a wine enthusiast from the 1950s through the late 1970s, embarked on extensive global journeys in pursuit of vinicultural knowledge. He can be aptly described as a pioneer in the world of enology, akin to the early days of Robert Parker. Notably, he served as an educator, imparting his wealth of knowledge in wine at the prestigious University of California in San Diego, California.

During this era, Dr. Torbert authored a seminal work in 1972, "The Book of Wine," which quickly became an indispensable reference for wine connoisseurs and experts alike. His book was revered as essential reading, shaping the palates and understanding of wine enthusiasts across the board.