Michael Dorf, CEO and Founder, City Winery

Aug 1, 2019
August 2019

Name: Michael Dorf
Title: CEO and founder
Company, city: City Winery; New York, New York (additional locations in Chicago; Boston; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; and Nashville; plus Philadelphia and Hudson Valley coming soon)
Number of employees: 1,000-plus
Recent project: Raising money for Solar Responders, a great nonprofit working to solve the electric grid challenge during storms in Puerto Rico using renewable energy at all first responder stations
First job: I never worked for anyone. I sold my beer can collection at a flea market at age 12, had a lawn mowing business at 13–14, built rec rooms on contract at 15–16, did more flea market business, then started the Knitting Factory.
Little-known fact about you: I really love hiking, going off into the woods almost every weekend for at least a two-hour hike/climb. Once a year for the last 31 years, I go away out of cell range and spend a week off the grid, going deep into a journey while on some mountain expedition.

Your Business

What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? Continued focus on more intimate experiential packages sold for musical immersions with your favorite artists

Best career advice you’ve received: Be patient.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Make sure you absolutely love what you are doing all day. If it is impossible to tell the difference between work and play, you have achieved success.

Michael Dorf as a Traveler

Favorite travel memory or story: Backpacking alone in the Austrian Alps, I was completely lost for a few days and eventually hit upon a railroad track. I walked along it less than 100 feet and found a dilapidated, abandoned train station. I looked at the schedule in German and thought I understood the train stopped there once a day at 15:17. My watch said it was 3:16; I was a bit confused, then I heard the train roll in. I got on, and off I went, my Eurail pass working. Indeed, it stopped there once per day, and I found this spot serendipitously with less than 60 seconds to spare, or I’d wait another 24 hours, hungry.

One travel tip you cannot live without: Global Entry is amazing. I went through customs/passport control in less than five minutes yesterday.

Best advice for business travelers: If you don’t play the frequentflyer game with one airline, use the credit card and take advantage of the clubs that go along with the system, you’re missing important opportunities to save a lot of time during work travel.

About City Winery

City Winery will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary. Congratulations! What can our readers expect from City Winery in the future? We will continue to grow into new markets, and our expansion in New York is also exciting. I hope to be in 20 cities or more in another 10 years, plus some foreign cities.

The New York City location will relocate to Pier 57. Tell us about the new space and venue. It is an amazing location where everything we have learned in the last 10 years will be put into play. It sounds audacious, but it will be the best small venue ever in New York, or anywhere for that matter. Our restaurant spaces surrounding the club and the working winery will be really cool, and the overall functionality will be second to none.

The brand focuses on environmentally friendly winemaking. What developments have you made toward this initiative? By selling about 75 percent of our wine production by the glass, we are able to serve it via our tap system, which saves truckloads of bottles every year. It allows us to avoid adding sulfites and, thus, have a more refreshing and pure wine. We are also completing the building of a larger winery production facility 90 minutes north of Manhattan; it is on a river, and we own the dam with a hydroelectric facility, allowing us to produce all the wine in that facility using self-generated electricity. So now we can also claim to be net zero energy on the production of the wine, the refrigeration and so on. Pretty cool.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Barrio Alto district in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Giuseppemasci | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 15, 2019

Hotel Barrio Alto Opens in Former Lisbon Palace

Two years ago, an 18th-century palace in the center of Lisbon closed for construction — the building is ready to re-open as a luxury boutique hotel.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

© Ukrphoto | Dreamstime.com

News
Sep 15, 2019

Cunard Launches Exclusive Musical

Cunard premiered the musical Top Hat aboard Queen Victoria last week. Next week, the musical premieres aboard Queen Elizabeth. The musical is slated to appear exclusively on Cunard ships for the next four years.

Lufthansa. Photo: Alexander Efisko | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 15, 2019

Lufthansa Launches Innovative Carbon Offset Program

Lufthansa is starting an innovative new carbon offset program, Compensaid, which will allow customers to purchase CO2 neutral aviation fuels. The platform allows customers to replace the fossil fuel of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel.

© GNTO

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

Desert. Photo: Galyna Andrushko | Dreamstime.com

Daily
Sep 15, 2019

Shop New Desert-Inspired Capsule Collection From The Luxury Collection

The Luxury Collection again teamed with artist Sofía Sanchez de Beta to unveil an exclusive capsule collection, this time with 54 pieces inspired by the Arabian Desert and Emirati culture. The ready-to-wear line includes an array of separates created with Dubai’s climate in mind, such as lightweight blouses and tunics, flowing jumpsuits, long skirts and dresses.

LG Pay. Photo: Piotr Swat | Dreamstime.com

LG Pay

Feature
Sep 14, 2019

Hawaiian Airlines. Photo: Ajdibilio | Dreamstime.com

© Brett Critchley | Dreamstime.com

Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Photo: Jason P Ross | Dreamstime.com

Santa Monica, California. Photo: Tupungato | Dreamstime.com

© GNTO

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

Google Search. Photo: Viorel Dudau | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 13, 2019

Google Expands Price Comparison Tool

Google announced last month it added additional features to its price comparison tool. The tool helps users plan trips and compare rates. The new features include one that shows whether the price of a planned flight plus accommodations is low, average or high.

© VanderWolfImages | Dreamstime.com

News
Sep 13, 2019

Singapore Airlines Begins Non-Stop Service Between Singapore, Seattle

Singapore Airlines launched its non-stop service between Singapore (SIN) and Seattle (SEA), Sept. 3. Seattle is Singapore Airlines’ fourth U.S. destination following Los Angeles (LAX), New York (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO) to receive non-stop service to and from Singapore.