Cazenovia couple Susan and Lance McKee have turned their passion for French wine into a business.
"We returned to France particularly for Lance's passion in wine, now it's my passion as well," said Sue McKee.
After retiring from their respective careers, the McKees have created Encore Wine Imports, LLC. They bring in quality wine from France, selected by an expert they discovered and became friendly with during their many return visits, and distribute it to restaurants and liquor stores in the area.
"I find it fascinating to find two people who've been successful in their own right to join forces in a common interest and enterprise that is not only time consuming but exciting," said Tom Vogt, a friend.
For a year now the McKees have tackled mounds of paper work and start-up expenses to get to year two, poised and possibly destined for success.
"Getting our foot in the door is the toughest," said Lance McKee.
The couple met and married at Ithaca College. She taught in Syracuse; he became an accountant for Price Waterhouse.
"They offered me a chance to transfer to Copenhagen," Lance McKee said.
Thus began their love affair of Europe.
"Many years ago on a wine tour in Denmark, we were asked if we understood French," Sue McKee said. "I told them I understood a little and when they turned their eyes to Lance I said, he drinks."
The McKees spent three and a half years in Denmark, then returned to Upstate New York to have a child, a son. They have been living in Cazenovia since 1979.
Lance McKee opened a practice called Dannible and McKee in 1978, which he operated until his recent retirement. Sue McKee became involved in antiques, operating The Veranda, a shop in Bouckville dealing in 18th and 19th century Americana.