Hi Folks, it’s Ted again, this time with a newcomer to the inGamba family. Alexandra Tugurian left the corporate world behind her to pursue a passion for Italian wines – so unsurprisingly, she fit right in with our gang. And now that she’s been bitten by the bike bug, she has her heart set on expanding her cycling horizons and seeing where her bike can take her.
Occupation: Italian fine wine sales.
Number of inGamba trips you’ve taken: This was the first – but certainly not the last!
I heard a rumor that day two of our Paso Robles Weekender was the longest ride you’ve ever done, spanning a hilly 102km. Brava! Is this the first of a trend for ever longer rides, or are you content with 100km and less?
I was so thrilled to complete the ride with the support of my new inGamba family! The entire way I had both guides and riders encouraging me with their enthusiasm, giving me tips on descending and how to clear overflowing river crossings – not to mention a few pushes on high grade hills – I felt a great sense of accomplishment when I got off the bike. It gave me the confidence that I can build to longer rides for the Tuscany trip in August … and maybe even the Donkey week next year.
Our expression at inGamba is Mangia. Beve. Bici. Translation: Eat. Drink. Bike. You segued a career in banking to the wine world. It’s rare to find a career who’s expression is Eat. Drink. Work 100+ Hour Weeks in an Office on the 78th Floor in Manhattan. Would you describe this career change a good one?
Haha. Instead of allocating stocks, I now allocate wines. So to answer, YES! My “job” does not feel like a job. I represent some of the top wine producers in Italy who are dedicated to organic, sustainable vineyard practices, minimal intervention in the wine making process (no overly extracted fruit or oak bombs) and making beautiful wines that are true to place. It is a joy to share their message and juice with my restaurant and retail clients.
It has been dumping rain the past two months in California, so with the sun now gloriously shining across Paso Robles, in my mind, there’s something reminiscent to England. Namely, rain and lush green hills. The UK or California, which is your preferred place to ride a bike?
You know what is funny? I have never ridden outside of the US. Now I have been bitten by the inGamba bug, that will change. When I met João over a glass of wine in Santa Monica, he said: “let me get this straight, you moved from NYC to SoCal and gave up cycling? We have to get you back on the bike.” And here I am!
João has woven a thread throughout this cycling world having spent a lifetime worthy of at least one memoir in the sport. We all know the six degrees of Kevin Bacon. What’s your six degree connection to João Correia — how do you know João?
My husband, Billy, went on the Portugal trip last year. Not only did João and Billy become fast friends, but for Billy it was the best travel experience to date (even surpassing Le Sirenuse on our honeymoon). João’s story resonated with me, given our similar career moves leaving corporate America to pursue our passions: mangi, bevi, bici!
Born in the UK, raised in Connecticut, now hailing from Los Angeles, suffice it to say you’re worldly. With maple syrup running through my veins, I love my native New England. Given that this weekend is all about a reuniting of the inGamba family, what and where is home in your mind?
Santa Monica! Every Wednesday when I wake up to the sunshine and run along the beach to the Santa Monica Farmers Market, I have a huge smile on my face. At this time of year, I’m tasting different avocados, citrus fruits, talking to farmers & seeing what my chefs are buying so I know which wines to pair with their food. I run home with my bag of goods , all along the way feeling so fortunate to live in a beautiful place, to be outside (instead of a cubicle) and active and to have access to such an inspired market and restaurant scene. We just need some of your maple syrup!
Read Ted’s talk with another guest, the one and only Jay Butler, here.