On June 28th, 1960, in Port Angeles, Washington, John Elway was born! As an American collegiate and professional gridiron football player, John Elway is considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time! He led the Denver Broncos of the National Football League to two Super Bowl championships in 1998 and in 1999.
Elway’s Formative Years
Elway excelled at football and baseball in high school and was drafted by major league baseball’s Kansas City Royals in 1979. However, he instead attended Stanford University (B.A., 1983) on a football scholarship, where he set several school and conference passing records. He was the number one draft pick of baseball’s New York Yankees in 1981, and he played for a Yankees farm club over the following summer. In 1983, Elway was chosen by the Baltimore Colts as the first overall pick in the NFL draft, but he threatened to play baseball professionally if the struggling Colts did not trade him. The Colts listened, and Elway was dealt to the Broncos, where he spent his entire 16-year career.
The Denver Broncos
Elway impressed Bronco fans with his throwing precision, calm leadership, and rushing ability. In his rookie year, John led the Broncos to the their fourth play-off appearance in its 24-year history. While
Elway rarely led the league in individual statistical categories, he was noted for his consistent production and his ability to rally his team to victory in the late stages of games. The most famous of his comebacks came in the 1986 American Football Conference (AFC) championship game against the Cleveland Browns, where John led the Broncos on a 98-yard drive to score the tying touchdown in the game’s final seconds. The Broncos won the game in overtime to advance to the Super Bowl, and Elway’s feat quickly became known as “The Drive.”
Retiring A Legend
Elway’s Broncos teams were unsuccessful in their first three Super Bowl appearances (1986, 1987, and 1989), losing by an average margin of 32 points. In 1998, however, they finally broke through as Elway led another late-game drive to beat the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. The Broncos repeated as Super Bowl champions the following year, Elway’s last. He retired with the NFL career record for most victories by a starting quarterback (148; which was broken by Brett Favre in 2007), and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
A Natural Born Leader
In 2011, Elway became the Broncos’ executive vice president of football operations, where he oversaw the 2012 acquisition of quarterback Peyton Manning and a subsequent return of the Broncos to the upper echelon of the NFL. His title was changed to general manager in 2014, shortly after the Broncos made their first Super Bowl appearance (a loss to the Seattle Seahawks) since Elway quarterbacked the team. As Manning aged and grew less effective on the field, Elway earned praise for putting together a formidable defense, which led the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory over the Carolina Panthers in 2016.
Football Meets Luxury Wines: 7Cellars Wines
Well versed in many different business ventures since his retirement from playing professional football, John Elway has been a restaurateur for over ten years, establishing four successful steakhouses in Colorado. John has always believed that there is a symbiotic relationship between great food and great wine, sparking his interest in getting involved with the wine making business. Initially, Elway started to create wines that his friends and family could enjoy, but they quickly realized how consistently delicious they were and encouraged John to increase production and form his own company: 7Cellars Wines.
Creating A Team Of Wine Experts
John Elway grew up learning how to play football within the confines of a team structure. Playing high level football meant John had to trust the plan of his coaches, learn to rely on his teammates, and ultimately learn to understand how to graciously accept a victory or share the burden that comes with defeat. These diverse elements of playing a professional team sport has allowed John to understand the concept that, ultimately, the best crafted team wins! With 7Cellars, John recognized the importance of building a great team of wine experts right from the get-go!
Professional level football and the wine business are closely aligned, as football and winemaking both require a great team of diverse experts! For John and 7Cellars, picking a wine team meant that he had to find a knowledgeable partner in the wine business; a partner who could help him with every aspect of starting a wine company, one that could mitigate initial mistakes and operate efficiently in a timely manner. OneHope Wine became that partner! With only ten years of experience in the industry, OneHope was one of the fastest growing wine businesses in the world. With comprehensive experience and rapid acceptance within the wine industry, OneHope was the ideal partner for John and 7Cellars!
Sourcing The Finest Grapes In California
After establishing OneHope as 7Cellars’ primary partner, John then had to source great fruit, as well as seek out the world’s top winemakers to ensure 7Cellars would have high quality wines right away. John selected Rob Mondavi Jr. and Tony Coltrin based on their impressive resumes and collective wine experience. Since then, John has added Mari Coyle and her extensive wine background to his team of winemakers. 7Cellars sources their Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the Rutherford regions, and Chardonnay grapes from the Carneros region to create our first Elway’s Reserves.
A Gift That Gives Back: 7Cellars & Team Rubicon
John has a long personal respect for all military personnel, dating back to his first visit to see the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan shortly after he won the Super Bowl. At 7Cellars, our wine team agreed that when we launched, we wanted to give back as much as we possibly could! We became aware of Team Rubicon through OneHope and decided that their mission was one that aligned with ours; helping those who have served our country while also aiding victims of undue strife and hardships a result of natural disasters. Similar to OneHope, 7Cellars makes an impact with every bottle of wine sold, helping to reunite veterans with a sense of purpose by allowing them to lead and organize disaster relief campaigns…the ultimate gift that gives back!
Get In Touch With 7Cellars Wines Today!
John’s vision with 7Cellars is to create high-end wines that people can include as part of their life’s memorable experiences! John has been fortunate enough to have many great accomplishments in his life, and he understands that raising a quality class of wine to toast with loved ones is a great way to commemorate all of life’s important occasions!
Want to drink great wine and make a difference for our veterans? Pick up a bottle or two of 7Cellars wine from our website, or from a plethora of restaurants and stores across the country. On behalf of John and his winemaking team at 7Cellars, we’re positive that our wines will be some of the best you’ve ever tasted. To find out more about how we help veterans every day, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “John Elway.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 24 June 2018, www.britannica.com/biography/John-Elway.
“John Elway.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Aug. 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Elway.