Born in Israel and raised in Southern California, Michael has been involved in several Sales and Marketing business ventures since a very young age. His first business venture was at the age of 24, starting a dating service with offices in Houston, Washington D.C. and Boston. Michael learned quite a bit about grassroots marketing and people, and eventually sold the business after 4 successful years.
Over the last 25 years, Michael has been the lead of several startups, national expansions, and was locally the Corporate Partnership Manager for the Sacramento Bee. He was also the Advertising Sales Manager of the original team of Sactown Magazine when their Corporate Offices were located in the same space as the current Rail Bridge Cellars Penthouse Lounge resides.
Michael chose to take over Rail Bridge Cellars in the beginning of 2011, when the original investment group was looking for change. While Michael’s wine background wasn’t expansive, his people skills and ability to find relevant talent was all he needed to decide to jump in with both feet and relaunch Rail Bridge Cellars. He has expanded the market share and awareness by taking the winery from two varietals to twelve; and with the tasting room moving from the production site on 16th Street to the top two floors of the Elks Tower, the growth of Rail Bridge Cellars has been consistent.
Michael’s passions are golf and travel, having done both extensively since the age of 10. Michael is married to Katharine Gelber and they have a daughter together named Sienna, which they named their Chardonnay after. They are expecting their second child, son Nate, in July of 2013. Michael also has three other children: Chelsea, Danielle and Connor. “When you are good at something, it is okay to talk about it, but when you are great at it, others will talk about it.”-‐Michael Gelber
Michael Chandler, Sommelier
Born and raised right here in Sacramento, Michael’s thirst for knowledge of all things wine-related began while working at a local, family-owned, specialty food & wine shop in his neighborhood during college. From there he began expanding his knowledge by tasting and reading everything he could get his hands on about viticulture and Enology. He has been the Wine Director for a number of local restaurants and retail wine shops, as well as a Personal Consultant for private wine cellars.
While working at one of the region’s top wine establishments, David Berkley Fine Wines, Michael was responsible for all things wine-related. One of those responsibilities was to make wine suggestions to our nation’s capitol building, The White House. Michael is known for his tireless enthusiasm, education, and being just a down-to-earth and easy to talk to Sommelier.
Chandler is an active member of The Guild of Master Sommelier’s based in London and attends and assists with as many wine events per year that he can. In years past he was a Sommelier Captain for 7 years of The World Of Pinot Noir, Pebble Beach Food & Wine and the new Los Angeles Food & Wine Event. He has also mentored local bar tenders and servers on the Sommelier exams. Chandler is an Advanced Sommelier Candidate and hopes to complete his Advanced level exam in 2014
Currently he is the Sommelier and Brand Manager of Rail Bridge Cellars. With this venture, he is also spearheading our project of opening a restaurant by the same name, with a strong food, wine & spirits focus in the heart of Downtown Sacramento in the Historic Elk’s Tower. Chandler is also in charge of running our food and bar catering division under Alexis Catering and Libations by Alexis.
“If I know there is going to be pinot noir or bacon there, you can bet I’m there.” ~Michael Chandler