Wine GlassWhat’s in a name?

Block [blók] (n.):

In winemaking, an area or tract of land designated for a single bottling, and generally cultivated to celebrate the natural terroir of the growing area.

122 [wúhn-twén-tee-tóo] (adj.):

Notably, 122°W of the Prime Meridian, the central longitude line of many of the finest U.S. West Coast wine growing regions, including Napa, Sonoma, and the Willamette Valley. See also: the D122; The Route des Grand Crus, connecting the renowned wine growing appellations of Burgundy, France from Dijon to Vougeot.


What is Block122?

Block122 is a unique virtual wine store that takes the risk out of trying new wines. Our motto is: “No Snobbery. No Robbery.” We’ll share down-to-earth, industry expert reviews and indepth articles on every wine we sell, and much more. Even better, we can offer direct access to some of the best and most highly allocated wines on the West Coast – the hidden gems that are rarely found on the Web or in most wine shops. The California wine industry is abundant in its affordable treasures… We truly believe that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to drink fantastic wine.

What’s more, at Block122, we know that a love of wine doesn’t start and end with a sale. Our mission is to encourage a vibrant social conversation about wine and the living craft that is winemaking. So even if you’re not looking to buy wine, stop by Block122 to find stimulating articles, photos and videos featuring some of the top sommeliers, winemakers and wine writers in the business. Think of Block122 as your place on the Web to find real info and useful tools for wine education, whether you’re a casual wine drinker or a seasoned pro.

Our Story

Four San Francisco restaurant employees — with decades of experience in wine and food pairing, training as sommeliers, and established connections to the wine community — finally got smart. We realized that our expertise could help create a home for wine on the Web that would inform, connect and inspire wine lovers. With Block122, we’re bringing everything to the table (or, more literally, to our customers’ front door). We’re leveraging the industry knowledge we’ve spent most of our lives developing in order to offer our customers access to the best in the West, and will be using all our skills and contacts to make Block122 one of the most dynamic and engaging sites on the Web.

Our team is growing! We’re pleased to welcome Melanie McCormick, Matt Mullin, Lee Powers and Jesse Bernal to the Block122 crew!


The Team

Brian Kulich  
Brian is a Certified Sommelier with 15 years of restaurant and wine bar/ retail experience. A graduate of the International Sommelier Guild Certification Program, Brian has worked in one- and two-star Michelin restaurants including Aqua and Boulevard.

Alisha Grieser
Alisha discovered her love of the restaurant business while in college 17 years ago. She worked for restaurateur Cameron Mitchell for seven years, opening three of his restaurants, including the award-winning M at Miranova in Ohio. Alisha’s love of food and wine led her to San Francisco where she’s worked at Boulevard Restaurant for the past eight years.

Jenn Wagner
A Web designer-developer with almost two decades of fine dining restaurant experience, Jenn has designed and built sites with a social media focus for small and mid-sized businesses, a Fortune 200 company, charitable organizations and several tech start-ups.

Francesca Cunningham
Born and raised in Hawaii, Francesca moved to San Francisco twelve years ago as part of the corporate training team with Roy’s Restaurants. While earning her Master’s in Human Resources & Organizational Development from USF, Francesca honed her wine skills working at Boulevard and built her passion for wine with extensive reading and tastings. An active member of the online social wine community, she recently passed her first-level Court of Master Sommelier certification exam and has completed her second level of certification through the International Sommelier Guild.

Melanie McCormick
With ten years as a fine dining restaurant pastry chef, Melanie brings her passion for great food and wine to her role with Block122. Now pursuing her BA in legal studies, Melanie has since been a bookkeeper and business manager for several nonprofits and start-ups.

Matt Mullin
Matt is an award winning illustrator and designer, who’s work has appeared in Print and Communication Arts. His roster of graphic design clients includes PepsiCo, Intel, Ernst & Young and Zinfandel Advocates & Producers.

Lee Powers
Lee Powers is a freelance web and applications programmer with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is a founder of multiple software and hardware start-ups, and has worked on projects for companies such as MTV, CNN, Disney, and Nickelodeon.

Jesse Bernal
Jesse has been a professional videographer and editor for the past decade. A graduate of the Academy of Art University, he has been active in location shoots throughout the Bay Area, as both a freelance camera operator and as the in-house videographer and editor for a large community organization.