Jim “Bear” Dyke, Jr.
Over his 25-year career, Jim “Bear” Dyke, Jr. has consulted with Fortune 100 and 500 companies, trade associations, public policy makers and helped manage numerous national and state political campaigns. Jim has worked on five presidential campaigns, managed a congressional campaign and served as Communications Director for the Republican National Committee, Press Secretary for U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, a Communications Advisor to President George W. Bush and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
Jim began his career in Washington, D.C., as a Senate parking lot attendant. In short order, he parlayed a stint as Assistant Brewmeister at Capital City Brewing Company into a lobbying position at the Beer Institute, which served as a springboard to the upper echelons of the Washington D.C. public policy world and an introduction to the alcohol beverage industry.
In 2005 while establishing Jim Dyke and Associates, now the successful public affairs firm JDA Frontline, Jim met by chance winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez at the Off The Record bar in Washington, D.C., and the dream of creating a world class winery began to take shape. In 2009 the duo sourced their first grapes and in 2012 Mira Winery went to market.
Over a very short period of time, Mira has established itself as a leading producer of limited production single vineyard wines from the Napa Valley with wholesale distribution in 19 states and a loyal following through its exclusive wine clubs. In the past year Mira has had 11 wines rated 90 plus points, a testament to the diversity of the portfolio and the quality of the wine. In the summer of 2017, Jim moved his family to the Napa Valley and is currently constructing a winery and hospitality facility at 6170 Washington Street just south of Yountville, which is scheduled to open in 2018.
Once described by The Washington Post as a “creative campaigner,” Jim is proving an ability to lead outside of politics. Combining a passion for wine and agriculture with his business experience building and managing a successful public affairs firm, Jim has enthusiastically taken on the challenge to build the best winery in the world. With his winemaker and co-founder Gustavo Gonzalez alongside, they are well on their way to realizing this dream that was first scribbled on a cocktail napkin many years ago.
Jim resides in the Napa Valley with his wife Dawn, daughter Emily and son Trester.
Gustavo A. Gonzalez
For over 20 years Mira winemaker and cofounder Gustavo A Gonzalez has been practicing his craft in the Napa Valley and around the world to critical acclaim. Gustavo has worked in California, Italy, France, Argentina and Brazil, establishing vineyards and producing wines in areas that never have before. His local knowledge and global perspective bring a highly experienced and creatively expansive approach to Mira’s vineyard practices and wine making techniques.
Gustavo has a long and decorated history of making exceptional wines both at Robert Mondavi Winery and around the world. He was responsible for the 2001 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia “Masseto” Toscana which received 100 points from Wine Spector. In fact, James Suckling of The Wine Spectator described the 2001 Masseto as “possibly the best Tuscan red ever.”
In his 17 years at Robert Mondavi Winery, Gustavo earned the title of Head Red Winemaker and established the Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon as one of the leading Napa Valley Cabernets, consistently receiving Wine Spectator ratings of 95 or higher. He produced the best Sauternes style wine of the new world and raised the Pinot Noir program to cult status.
In Mira’s infancy Gustavo’s reputation provided us with unmatched access to the finest blocks of grapes in some of the Napa Valley’s premier vineyards including Hyde Vineyard in the Carneros AVA and Schweizer Vineyard in the heart of the Stags Leap AVA.
In a recent blind tasting of eight of the world’s top wines from Bordeaux and the Napa Valley, the 2012 Mira Schweizer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon took the top slot for Cabernet from the Napa Valley besting Screaming Eagle, Schrader To Kalon and Shafer Hillside Select.
With his superb craftsmanship and attention to detail, Gustavo has quickly established Mira as one of the top producers of small production single vineyard wines from the Napa Valley. In just the past year, Mira has received 90 plus ratings on 11 different wines highlighting both the breadth and quality of the winemaking.
Gustavo grew up with a love for winemaking that was developed through his family, and his interest in wine as a career stemmed in part from their agriculture business. Simply put, in Gustavo’s mind wine was a way to be creative through agriculture.
Gustavo believes that there is always something new to learn in the pursuit of making the highest quality wine. Every vintage is different, and you have to understand how to adjust to those differences. His experience allows him to do that at a higher level, in Napa, a place with the unique combination of optimal climate and exceptional soils. Working in an area that creates some of the finest grapes in the world, his goal is to allow the innate spirit of those fruits to shine through in the wines Mira produces.
He takes great pleasure in the response from those who enjoy savoring Mira wines, but is even more excited about where we are headed and what the future holds for Mira. With the soon to be completed winery and tasting room at 6170 Washington Street just south of the town of Yountville in the heart of the Napa Valley, Gustavo sums it up simply, “the best is yet to come.”
VP OF SALES
Being from a big Italian family, wine was always a part of meals, especially our big Sunday feasts. I recall always trying to sneak a sip or two with my brothers and cousins. Looking back, I doubt we were as sneaky as we thought. The inclusion of wine with family was an integral part of these gatherings. So, it is not really surprising that I developed an interest in wine.
It was In graduate school that I developed my real passion for wine. While working for a restaurant, I was placed in charge of the wine program. I became drawn to the experience wine could bring to a meal. Not just a food complement, wine was also a way to bring people together and create a feeling of camaraderie.
From working as a kid in my family’s Italian bakery to fine tuning my love of wine in college such that it became my career, I wouldn’t trade my 20 years in this business for any other work. I am thrilled now to be able to work with a winery that has a genuine appreciation of wine that reflects the quality and character of the grapes rather than merely trying to follow the next trend or fad. The team at Mira has an energy and sense of pride about the wines and what we do that makes this a wonderful place to be.