My name is Alexis Swanson Traina, I am a wife, mother of 2 young children and also creative director at Swanson Vineyards, where I have worked with my dad since graduating college. As a child, my family lived in a small town in southwest Florida, where my after-school friends were the elderly ladies of the neighborhood who taught me everything I know about dark chocolate, cards, port wine cheese, housecoats and men. I could often be found “doing business” at my roll-top desk, shuffling papers and stamping voided checks; flipping through Harper’s Hideaway Reports researching my parents’ travels; or at my mother’s knee in dusty antique shops, that always played quiet AM radio. Being curious and eccentric was normal.
In my awkward teenage years, I became obsessed with Lady Diana Spencer and insisted on having her same hairdo, eagerly spritzed with several bottles of Sun-In… Not a good look in tropical climates, with braces. By boarding school, things had started to come around: I’d found a new hairdo, zip code, Benetton, whole new set of friends, and pool of suitors. And then one day, the pay phone rang in the hallway of my dormitory—it was my Dad calling, with news: “We’re moving. We’ve just bought a vineyard in the Napa Valley.” As we hung up the phone, I wondered just how far Falcon Crest was from this new vineyard????
And the rest was history.
Footnote: I did marry the boy next door, save for the highway that passes between us.