In addition to making Malibu wine, you might also be interested to hear that he is a former musician who’s played with legends like Willy Nelson, Johnny Cash, and the Everly Brothers.
There’s an ethereal halo of positivity surrounding Elliott Dolin that immediately sets one at ease. It’s clear that this energy has fueled much of his journey through life and spurred a silent accord with destiny. He works hard and stays true to himself and, in return, fate has guided him through the successful pursuit of his passions. Elliott often says, “Action breeds action,” a celestial phrase that is evident in the various aspects of his life.
Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Northern New Jersey, Elliott spent much of his childhood in and around metropolitan Manhattan. Most Saturdays and summer school vacations found him working at his father’s electronics store in Lower Manhattan, an hour’s train ride from home. By the age of 13, Elliott had developed a passion for the music of The Beach Boys, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and like many of his peers, he dreamed of playing in a band. Recognizing the cultural “it” status of the guitar, he “picked up” the electric bass guitar to round out the lineup in a fledgling local band. His weekly excursions to work in Manhattan provided the opportunity to make regular pilgrimages to window shop for the latest Fender bass guitars and amps at the array of music stores that lined West 48th St., fueling his desire to save up and purchase his own. Ultimately, he was able to invest his savings and purchase his first electric bass guitar from one the music shops on West 48th St.
Elliott’s passion for music led him to develop his talent to the point where he was getting hired for paid working gigs. He actively sought out varied and diverse opportunities to hone his skills and develop connections. He played college “mixers,” he played “society gigs” (weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, etc), he played in the house orchestra at a hotel in New York’s famed Catskill Mountains and he got his chance to rock at Manhattan’s Wagon Wheel on 45th Street and the world-famous Metropole Café in Times Square. In the early 1970’s, he played bass for the original Manhattan Transfer prior to their signing with Columbia Records and recording their first album. After a stint with a Jersey Shore band by the name of “Lazarus,” Elliott was also approached to join the band of then-unknown local musician Bruce Springsteen. Instead, he opted for an opportunity to volunteer to go to Israel for six months during the Yom Kippur War, harvesting grapefruit to fill in for army reservists who were in the battlefield. In retrospect, he considers this a fortunate choice because, as he says, “I have no regrets. Where else would I want to be but where I am right now?”
When Elliott returned to the U.S. in 1974, he sought a change of pace from the urban lifestyle of Manhattan. He packed up his red Peugeot and drove to Nashville, which had become “the” scene for music and a place to actually make a living playing music. There, Elliott spent several years on tour as the band leader and bassist for Grammy-award winning country music artist Donna Fargo, and he later played with legends like Ray Price and Brenda Lee. His most memorable experience was working as a staff musician for Country Music Hall of Fame producer Jack Clement, often getting to jam with legends such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and the Everly Brothers. While working with Clement, a partnership with CBS Records of Sweden ensued, giving Elliott the opportunity to work in Sweden for six months as staff musician at the legendary recording studio where the first Abba hits were recorded. During this time, he had the opportunity to play on multiple albums recorded by Sweden’s top artists and played live performances in 31 cities throughout the country. The gig was great money—all expenses paid.
Elliott’s success working in Nashville and Sweden enabled him to save enough money to invest in two duplexes. His first was bought with the intention of renting out half the property, knowing it would cover much of his mortgage and help to offset the unpredictability of life as a musician. By the time he purchased the second he had caught the real estate bug, a passion that would soon develop into a career.
In 1983, he decided to finally move to California, a place where he had dreamed of living since he first practiced the bass lines to “Little Deuce Coupe” as a teenager. Though he would have liked to have continued his musical career in Los Angeles, he had arrived during an era when many top recording musicians were lacking work, and several top studio players had migrated to Nashville where opportunities were greater. Accepting of his circumstances, Elliott looked to the future. He attained his real estate license and studied real estate investment analysis at UCLA.
After obtaining his real estate sales license, he secured a position with an up-and-coming commercial real estate brokerage firm that focused on apartment properties. Choosing a specific market area, while others were at the beach, Elliott spent sunny summer weekends in the heat of the city, taking photos of every apartment building in his Mid-Wilshire market area, and he compiled copious records of apartment building transactions and ownership data. He quickly realized that many buildings were owned by an investor named David J. Hager, whom Elliott was able to reach on a “cold call.” They quickly established a positive working relationship and, after a few forays into the market, they partnered to purchase a house on the coast of Malibu. The deal was successful, and together they started their company Pacific Prime Properties. It thrived, and has since held interest in several million square feet of industrial, medical office and retail space throughout Southern California and Texas.
Elliott met his wife Lynn, a child psychologist, in 1991. She was the mother of two young boys, ages 3 and 9, and was in the midst of a divorce. Even so, a mutual friend was convinced that they were destined to be together, and arranged a meeting. On their first blind date Lynn recalls thinking that Elliott must have been a rock star—sporting a pony tail, leather pants and driving a Ferrari. And for Elliott, it was love at first sight. Within ten days they were vacationing together on a beach in Hawaii, and the two soul mates finally married at their Malibu estate in 2005.
Their life together has truly been a joy ride. Together they have pursued a passion for restoring vintage cars, collecting several stunning vehicles over the years including a 1953 Siata 208S Spider, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gull Wing,” a 1947 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet, a 1930 Cadillac V-16, a 1957 Ferrari 250 GT and a 1963 Corvette “split-window” Coupe. They have displayed their automobiles at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, winning class awards each time, including a coveted “1st in Class” in 2008. They have participated in numerous road touring events as well. On competing in Italy’s world renown Mille Miglia, Elliott asserts, “The application process and getting your vehicle accepted into the event can be quite difficult. Cars that may enter must be no newer than 1957 and, preferably, have participated in the original Mille Miglia that took place from 1927 to 1957. Once accepted as a participant, the cost and red tape of transporting a car to and from Italy is prohibitive. The event can also be dangerous. But driving through medieval villages in a caravan of rare and exotic vintage sports cars, with crowds lining the streets and cheering you on, is an experience of a lifetime!”
Much like the winding roads of the Mille Miglia, Elliott’s life has been unpredictable, characterized by twists and turns, but always guided by purpose and the desire to execute at the highest level. It should be no surprise then that in 2006, while Elliott and Lynn were restoring their recently purchased Malibu home, he recognized the opportunity to indulge his passion for wine and grow Chardonnay vines. “The idea to grow grapes came to me, like a light bulb went off in my head,” he says. “It just made sense.”
DOLIN MALIBU ESTATE VINEYARDS: CATCHING CALIFORNIA’S NEXT WINE WAVE - Inspired by a backyard Chardonnay vineyard Elliott and Lynn Dolin planted behind their Malibu home in 2006, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards has quickly emerged as one of the leading producers in the burgeoning Malibu Coast, a region poised to attain AVA in early 2014. Following the release of just three vintages of Chardonnay ($39), the winery already has plans to expand its Malibu production to include several more wines from the region, and it will further broaden its scope by the middle of 2014 with the release of a new line of Central Coast Pinot Noir wines from such highly regarded vineyards as Talley ‘Rincon,’ Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills.
As a member of Tom Baldacci's four sons, Michael's passion for his father's legacy is a manifestation of how special a family-owned winery truly is. Michael is a resident of the winery so you can count on hearing his exuberant laugh around the winery either in the tasting room or keeping a watchful eye on the grapes and aging wine barrels.
Exceptional quality wine all begins with a passion. “My passion is one rooted in family,” Michael says, “a passion to produce honest wines that best embody my family’s love for great wine and the unique estate vineyards that Baldacci represents.”
Though he was born and raised in the Bay Area, Michael Baldacci spent many days as a young boy walking his family’s vineyards. Struck early on by the delicacy with which man and nature must work together to make beautiful wines, Michael returned to Napa Valley as an adult to become part of the team at Baldacci Family Vineyards. New to the business but a veteran of the land, Michael took on a managerial role at the winery after four years of undergraduate study in Los Angeles with the same goal his father had had nearly twelve years before: to make wines that represent the character of the land, the grapes, and the family Baldacci represents.
A boutique winery with their first vintage dating 2000, Baldacci Family Vineyards focuses strictly on single-vineyard, estate-grown wines. Our total acreage includes the original 17-acre estate in the heart of the Stags Leap District, as well as a 20-acre property in Carneros. Our newest addition to the estate in 2013 was an additional 8.5-acre property in Calistoga, a warmer micro-climate of Napa Valley whose lush fruit perfectly compliments the Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap. Total production approaches 6,000 total cases each year, nearly all of which are single-vineyard, single-varietal wines expressing their respective terroirs.
Michael can be found all around the winery, from the cellar to the tasting room, behind a desk or in the vineyards he first walked as a child.
“The Stags Leap District is an iconic area of Napa,” he believes, “and our family’s wines strive to show each and every consumer why it is truly the best area in the world to grow world class Cabernet.”
Join us for a Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters & the Stags Leap District Winegrowers! To celebrate their 25th year we've put together one of our finest 'kick-off' dinners to date! Won't you join us?!
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2014 ~ 6:30pm
Tickets - $185 Per Person ($105 is tax deductible)
Cabana Room at Island Hotel Newport Beach
690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660
SEATING IS LIMITED VALET PARKING AVAILABLE
TO RESERVE SEATS PLEASE CALL (323) 939-0758