About Porthos

Porthos is the name of the fun loving, wine drinking musketeer from Alexandre Dumas novel, The Three Musketeers. Porthos Wine Ventures was founded by three wine lovers now dedicated to seizing the finest undiscovered small production boutique wines in Napa and Sonoma and rescuing them for your cellar! Today, the Porthos team samples over 5,000 wines annually and recommends the highest scoring 1% to our thirsty audience of avid wine collectors.

Why Porthos?

Our mission is to build long term, personal relationships with our clients by providing:

#1 Personalized Service

Porthos members place the greatest value on our ability to recommend and source new wines that they will personally enjoy! To ensure you only receive wines guaranteed to thrill, we invest in customizing our recommendations based upon your purchasing history and individual feedback.

Insider Connections

Porthos is perfectly located at the crossroad between Napa and Sonoma and were here to offer you insider connections to the finest hard-to-find and small production, boutique wines not normally available in regular retail stores.

Insider Scoop

At Porthos, we're committed to providing you insider information about the best new up-and-coming wines before they are discovered by the wine critics and collector crowds!


Porthos was established in June, 2000 in Sausalito, California by Hal Oates and his business partner Nick Moult. Porthos originally started as a newsletter for co-founder Hal Oates' thirsty friends and family in Texas looking for hard-to-find California wines and has since grown to become the #1 "wine personal shopper" service in California. Since the original clients of Porthos were all friends and family, our team established a highly personalized customer service attitude which were proud to maintain today with our extended family of fellow wine lovers. While many of our colleagues in the wine world love to pontificate about what wines they love, our purpose is to help you find the wines you already love and then introduce you to new wines according to your individual tastes!

Our Guarantee

If you're not happy with a wine that we personally recommend for you, we'll do what it takes to make you happy. At Porthos, our mission is to establish long term relationships with avid wine collectors. Hence, Porthos will make every effort to resolve any wine issues to your satisfaction. But we ask our customers to acknowledge that wine is a living thing, easily bruised, or damaged in a variety of ways. All wine sold by us is maintained at optimum conditions prior to shipping to clients. We consider wine to be out of our control once it has been successfully delivered and you've had a reasonable time (90 days) to sample it. We cannot be responsible for improper storage (storing on top of your refrigerator, in your car, next to your oven, for example). Hence, Porthos does not offer full refunds for wines returned more than 90 days after receipt.

Refund Policy

Porthos offers full refunds** for wines in the rare situation when a Porthos wine concierge personally recommends a wine to a collector and that client does not enjoy the wine after sampling upon receipt. For all other situations, a re-stocking fee of 30% of the amount of the purchase will apply (e.g. cancelled orders, returns for special orders directly from the winery, etc.). If a wine is damaged during shipping (e.g. broken) due to UPS or Fedex neglect, a full refund will be offered. However, please note that neither UPS nor FedEx offer refunds due to weather damage (e.g. cork leakage due to heat or cold) so please make sure the weather conditions at your shipping destination are suitable to receive wine or, if not, contact Porthos to request temporary storage.
** Full refund in the form of a store credit. Offer expires 90 days following receipt of the wine by client.



Legal Age
By submitting an order to Porthos Wine Ventures, Inc. you are also submitting that you are 21 years of age and legally able to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. Wines may be delivered to persons of 21 years of age or older only. You will be asked to provide positive ID by the shipper or carrier. Porthos is not responsible for the return of shipments due to lack of positive ID, and return shipping charges are your responsibility. All wine is sold in the State of California, and the title passes to the buyer in California. PORTHOS makes no representation to the legal rights of anyone to ship or import wine into any state outside of California. By placing an order with us, you are stating to us that you are in compliance with your local laws governing alcoholic beverages.

We promise to protect your privacy and will not share any of the information we collect from you with any third party. Questions or concerns? Contact us.

Shipping Policies
Due to interstate shipping regulations that remain in a few states, Porthos cannot ship wine to all 50 states. Thankfully, these laws are changing rapidly, but if you need wine shipped to a state that is included on the current list of prohibited states, well contact you directly in order to make other arrangements.

Porthos reserves the right to hold shipment of your wine during extreme weather conditions.

Although unlikely, we reserve the right to raise prices for shipping/handling without notice.

Porthos cannot be responsible for damage to wine (including leakage or damaged corks) shipped to you against our express protestations in regards to weather conditions.

Porthos cannot be responsible for wine damaged by a shipper or inappropriate storage/handling on the part of the buyer, although we will make a reasonable effort to resolve any disputes.

We reserve the right to refuse sales if we deem it to be inappropriate and/or unsafe.

Return Policy
If you're not happy with a purchase or one of our recommendations, we'll do what it takes to make you happy. We ask our customers to acknowledge that wine is a living thing, easily bruised, damaged, or destroyed in a variety of ways. All wine sold by us is maintained at optimum conditions. We consider wine to be out of our control once it has been successfully delivered and you've had a reasonable amount of time to sample it. We cannot be responsible for improper storage (storing on top of your refrigerator, in your car, next to your oven, for example). Know your palate: Older wines (ten years or more) may differ from their characteristics on release - and still be great wines. If you purchase older wines, be patient and allow your mind - and the wine - to open. We cannot accept returns for sound wines that do not coincide with personal tastes. In general, Porthos will make every effort to resolve any wine issues to your satisfaction.

Pre-Order Policy
Occasionally, we offer our most highly-sought-after wines to our loyal clients on a pre-order basis before the wine is released. We believe this is the most democratic manner in which to guarantee quantities of particular wines desired by our clients. In order to guarantee the wine purchase, Porthos will charge the client for wine, shipping, and sales tax (if applicable) at the time of the order. At that time, Porthos will advise the client of the estimated shipping date. Then, Porthos will notify the client once the pre-ordered wine ships. Timing may range from several weeks to a few months before the winery delivers their wine to us.

Is Porthos a Discount Wine Retailer?
At Porthos, we never claim to have the absolute cheapest prices on every wine because we have found that some competitors occasionally misprice items and/or bait and switch pricing on a few bottles of a big name wine that happens to mysteriously sell out when a purchase is attempted. Porthos provides competitive retail pricing on featured wines to offer our members a fair deal and avoid any price gouging on our rarest selections. In most situations, if you find a wine priced significantly lower in a legitimate offer from a competitor Porthos will strive to match that offering*.

*Depends on availability. Price will be matched once we receive confirmation of the lower price.

How Does Porthos Provide Value to Wine Lovers?
Our #1 focus at Porthos is providing the finest personalized service to our discriminating clientele. The majority of Porthos members are serious wine collectors that place a premium on our ability to customize recommendations and source rare wines that they will personally enjoy. Weve learned that a big rating or the cheapest price for a particular wine is not a true value to a thirsty wine lover if they do not enjoy the actual bottle.

Hal Oates
Founder and President

Hal grew up in Texas with a large, loving family that was passionate about sensational food and wine. Hal's first trip to Napa was at age 10 and his only regret is that he didn't return to start Porthos sooner. After college at the University of Virginia and business school at Wharton, Hal spent ten years in consumer advertising and promotions with PepsiCo. Hal relocated from Texas to northern California for his last assignment as V.P. of Corporate marketing working with George Lucas and the Lucasfilm management team to develop all corporate advertising and promotions for Star Wars. Hal later became more interested in wine sampling than film marketing and launched an insiders-only newsletter (a.k.a ‘blog’ in today’s nomenclature) profiling his favorite undiscovered wineries in Napa and Sonoma. That newsletter led to the development of Porthos after a plethora of friends and family lamented they couldn't purchase (outside Wine Country) any of the delectable wines Hal recommended. Today, Hal and his team are dedicated to providing honest, unbiased recommendations for the finest small production wines in California, Italy, and France according to each clients' personal tastes.

Bruce Willis
Wine Concierge

With the exception of living in Tokyo for three years, Bruce has lived in California his whole life. It was during his school days in the heart of the Central Coast region where Robert Talbot shared his first vintage of Chardonnay with Bruce. His love of excellent wine began. College days at SF State were about business and baseball. He then moved North to Sonoma County to raise his family. His career path led him to luxury sales where the focus was on customer satisfaction and the development of long-term relationships. His love of wine steered him toward wine country and he steered his career toward hospitality. In the Napa Valley, Bruce developed the current food and wine education program at Duckhorn. As GM (and first employee) of Nicholson Ranch, he created the hospitality vision for a new winery. During his time at Nicholson Ranch, Bruce met the young Mike Smith and Thomas Brown – now superstar winemakers of Schrader, Myriad and many more collector labels. All the while his love of wine (and the size of his cellar) grew… At Porthos, Bruce is a member of the tasting team, bringing only the 'best of the best' to our oenophile audience. He offers personalized recommendations to his clients and provides the very best possible concierge level service to his clients.

Geoff Comfort
Wine Concierge

Geoff joined Porthos after commencing his career at a large wine retailer based in San Francisco. He brings a wealth of rare wine and high end customer service experience to Porthos. As a San Francisco Bay Area native, Geoff has developed his palate based upon a lifetime of fine wine and food enjoyment. For Goeff, wine is more than a career, it's a passion. He first fell in love with Napa Cabernets during his days playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball organization over a decade ago. Today, he collects and is passionate about Old World reds as well as California Pinots, delicious whites and rare cult Californian Cabs. Geoff's recent experiences acquiring and trading private wine libraries has helped him fine-tune his ability to match savvy collectors with rare wines perfectly suited for their individual palates.

Jim Anderson
Wine Concierge

Jim Anderson was born and raised in the heart of California’s Wine Country, the Sonoma Valley (literally grew up running through vineyards and fishing in their ponds). His passion for small production, high-quality artisan wines runs deep and he loves nothing more than to share this with friends and avid wine collectors, exposing them to Wine Country’s finest undiscovered gems. Unique and rare wines, normally only available locally, that genuinely speak to the region, vineyard, vintage and Winemaker.

Prior to joining the team at Porthos, Jim was the Chief Concierge at Sonoma’s premier luxury hotel, where he was also an honored member of Les Clefs d’Or, a private association of the world’s most elite and well-connected Concierge. Jim also served as a Sommelier and wine buyer for the resort’s Michelin-rated restaurant and achieved his Advanced Level Three Certification through the internationally acclaimed Wine and Spirit Education Trust. Jim looks forward to sharing personalized recommendations, an insider’s glimpse of the world’s finest and most sought after wines and all the wonderful stories behind them.

Drew Goodgame
Winery Relations and Imports Manager

Wine has been a passion for Drew since growing up in Northern California. After pursuing his Masters in Philosophy at Southern Illinois University, he returned to California and joined one of San Francisco's major retail wine shops. After climbing through the ranks from sales associate to operations manager, he took the plunge and moved up to wine country to be closer to the action. Initially joining the Porthos team in a customer service capacity, Drew currently leverages his near-photographic (palate) memory in his role as winery relations and imports manager. Since Pinot has captured his heart, Drew spends his weekends on ‘market research’ seeking out the finest boutique wines in Napa and Sonoma.

Ryan Lee
Director of Operations

Ryan leads all creative and technical developments for Porthos.com. Prior to Porthos, Ryan scored movies and television commercials for several years as well as successfully launching a new restaurant concept for Gap, Inc.

Julie Albrecht
Finance Manager

Julie is a native of Northern Michigan, landed in the heart of Napa Valley fifteen years ago. Her broad accounting background includes working in education, construction, and agriculture, until finding her true passion 7 years ago in the wine industry. She comes to Porthos from Napa Valley Vintners where she oversaw finances for the non-profit organization and their very successful wine auctions: Auction Napa Valley and Premiere Napa Valley. A knack for crunching numbers and a love of great wines makes for a perfect fit on the Porthos team.

Amber McAllister
Customer Relations Manager

Amber is a Marin County local, born and raised in San Rafael. It was here her interest for wine developed, but it wasn't until she moved to San Luis Obispo to pursue degrees in Agriculture Business and Wine & Viticulture that her love for the industry really embarked. While studying at Cal Poly, Amber worked as a lab technician at Tolosa Winery and gained an appreciation for sustainable growing practices. Upon graduating, she made her way back to the Bay Area where she honed her interest for luxury wine sales. In 2011, she joined Cultivate Systems, a leading wine data asset management company, and provided e-commerce and consultancy services to some of the most sought-after winery brands in the country. Today her wine knowledge and customer service experience seamlessly translate into her current role as Customer Relations Manager at Porthos. When she's not broadening her wine pallet, you can find Amber hiking with her dog, Bentley, or cheering at San Francisco Giants games.