- 10 wines
- 5 styles
Longtime wine aficionado turned acclaimed winemaker - you made it happen!
- Tom – a lifelong wine enthusiast – was one of our first 1,000 customers when Naked launched in 2012 – a founding Angel.
- Tom's passion for wine led him to the next step – winemaking – and around 50,000 Angels teamed up and raised about a million bucks for Tom to follow his dream.
- Today – thanks to your continued support – Tom is working with world-class vineyards and making award-winning wines at a professional, state-of-the-art winery – just for you.
Tom Shula's Story
Tom studied theoretical physics in college, yet when his outlook on life was changed forever, it wasn’t because of a mind-boggling theory he learned in a classroom, it was when he bought and tasted a bottle of Pommard – an absolute revelation.
Once the wine bug bit, Tom didn’t change careers, but weaseled his way into every opportunity he could find to taste and talk about wine. He became friends with what seemed like every wine aficionado where he lived and worked in Silicon Valley, and got to try most of the Great Wines from across the globe from countries like France, Italy, and the United States. His education was through conversations – he had a natural drive to satisfy his curiosity, and wasn’t afraid to ask questions.
Keeping one eye on the wine industry at all times he fell out of love with finding “trophy” wines and became more interested in finding value. He noticed it was becoming easier and easier to make wines without faults, that expressed fruit and translated terroir for a fraction of the cost.
In 2007, he began dabbling in his own winemaking as a side gig with some grapes friends had purchased from Lodi – a welcome respite from his day job in Silicon Valley. Tom quickly grabbed the reins, to the dismay of his friends. However, once they tasted the wines, they gave Tom free license to make all the winemaking decisions – the wines were delicious. Shortly after, he decided to make wines from Sonoma.
In August 2012, Tom became an Angel after Naked launched in June of the same year – one of the first 1,000 Angels in the U.S. – because he loved the business model. An active Angel, he attended in-person events and met the team back when supporting winemakers seemed more like a crazy dream and less like an awesome reality.
Riding high on his anything-is-possible start-up energy, Tom brought some of his wines to the second Angel event he attended in 2013, hoping to hand them off as proof of his talent. At founder Rowan Gormley’s request, he ended up pouring the bottles for his fellow Angels that very night, and received wonderful feedback.
The favorite across the board, including Tom’s and Rowan’s, was a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. For Tom, the afternoon was incredible, but not surprising, since he’d won dozens of medals in wine competitions with the bottles and his previous vintages. Shortly after, he was signed on to produce one thousand cases of wine to be sold under his very own brand.
Before Naked Wines came into the picture, Tom thought making wines under his own name seemed far fetched. But when Angels had the chance to support one of their own – investing a whopping one million dollars in Tom’s first vintage of large-scale winemaking – his dreams of becoming a winemaker came true. It became possible for him to share his wines with Angels across the country, and that’s what really matters to Tom.
This is me and my bride, Linda, atop Half Dome in Yosemite. The 360 degree view is spectacular!