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Richard Betts, who was born on the East Coast, grew up in the Southwest and went to college in Los Angeles, was bitten by the wine bug during a year spent in Italy. On the verge of entering law school, he decided to follow his heart instead, taking cooking jobs while furiously reading about wine. At Chef Janos Wilder’s (name of restaurant), he rose from the sauté station to become the establishment’s first-ever sommelier. In June 2000, he joined the Little Nell in Aspen as their “sommelier to the stars,” building a wine list that won a Grand Award from Wine Spectator. He also garnered a second M.S. and the Krug Cup by passing the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Masters Exam on the first attempt, becoming only the ninth person to do so and one of only 150 M.S.’s in the world. Soon after, he founded the Betts and Scholl wine company with Dennis Scholl; their vintage of “the OG” Barossa Valley Grenache (2001) gained recognition as the Star Selection of the best new wineries in the world for 2004 from Food & Wine magazine. Richard left Little Nell in June 2008 to concentrate on Betts and Scholl as well as Scarpetta (another co-founded wine brand) and Sombra, a new Mezcal venture. He sold Scarpetta in the summer of 2009, and in the fall sold to Betts and Scholl to Castle Brands. He now lives happily with his family in Boulder, Colorado.