Andrew was born in Medellin, Colombia and came to the U.S. for the first time when he was five years old. He returned to Medellin to attend middle school when he was 15 and during that time developed a lifelong love and appreciation of flavors while spending time in his mother's kitchen. He was introduced to wines by a French family residing in Medellin and travelled to France to do vineyard work with one of their sons.
Rather than going into the family business in Medellin (printing and packing), Andrew came back to the U.S. and began his climb up the ladder with a tip-based job at Race Rock. His love of wine led him to take a distance learning course in winemaking from UC Davis where he was introduced to the aroma wheel by its inventor Dr. Ann Noble. This encounter was the catalyst that launched him on a path to develop a better understanding of the aromas and flavors in wine. He sought to develop a nose for wines by buying the flavors in the aroma wheel and adding them to a base wine in order to detect how these flavors manifested in a wine.
During this time he became very interested in wine education and began writing a blog on wine and wine tasting. Following reader queries, he listed some of his wines on the blog and was rewarded with some sales, leading him to posit that there was an opportunity for education-driven online wine sales. He tested this model by continuing to work during the day while doing order fulfillment and shipping during the evenings and on weekends. He negotiated with the Florida Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco to gain a license to sell wines without having a physical presence -- a first.