Rajat Parr. Photo courtesy of Mina Group.
I have been hearing rumblings from numerous sources about some changes regarding Rajat Parr’s role as the Mina Group wine director. Patric Yumul, the president of the Mina Group, had a chat with me to explain the changes. As many already know, after 18 years in San Francisco, Raj has recently relocated to Santa Barbara to focus on winemaking and be closer to his wineries, Sandhi Wines and Domaine de la Côte. He will continue in his role as wine director of the Mina Group and partner of RN74, offering oversight of the lists and making sure the wine selections stay fresh and current.
But since Raj won’t physically be on the floor at the restaurants, the Mina team will be doing some restructuring to the wine department. Raj’s assistant, Daniel Grajewski, will be taking on a more senior role to assist with buying and relationships, and a new hire will be added to the team to replace sommelier Josiah Baldivino (who we mentioned is leaving to start his own venture, Bay Grape)—the new position will take on a larger Mina Group role and help with coordination.
The Mina Group PR team chimed in with: “The Mina Group is excited for Rajat’s latest endeavor and feel it will only bring our guests a more educated and enjoyable wine experience at Michael Mina restaurants.” I’ll keep you updated on any new hires, and best of luck to Raj.