Clwyd Road (pronounced “Clid”) in Bala Cynwyd (pronounced “Kin-wood”) is where the Eisenberg boys (4 of us) grew up outside Philadelphia in the 60’s, 70’s and into the 80’s. One thing we all learned to do as children was spell out these Welsh-based names for our street and hometown, all the more amusing given our Ukrainian Jewish heritage. Of course, there are some that claim that the Welsh language was actually derived from Hebrew and that the Welsh people were the first Jews or Israelites so maybe it all makes sense—maybe…
High school brought me from Wales to Germany (or at least Germantown), where I graduated from Germantown Friends School in a part of Philadelphia that provided shelter to George Washington and his cabinet fleeing the Yellow Fever in 1783.
Fleeing Philadelphia myself (at least for a while), I attended Columbia College in New York City, where I double majored in English and Psychology and graduated, cum laude, in 1987. Obama was a senior when I was a freshman so I’m sure we ate the same H&H bagels at the student-run deli in Furnald Hall (a speculative shared experience but it’s the best Obama connection story I’ve got). After Columbia, I worked for a few years in nonprofit fundraising at the Pennsylvania Ballet and special events at The Coca-Cola Company.
In 1991, in my effort to enter the hospitality field (with a plan to open a restaurant with a French chef friend of mine), I became certified as a Wine Captain at the Sommelier Society of America and thereafter became a sommelier and wine buyer for the ‘21′ Club, the famed prohibition-era restaurant and former speakeasy on 52nd Street in Manhattan, which features a secret wine cellar in its vaulted basement. Years later, at the funeral of a beloved uncle of mine, I learned that my grandfather Sam and his brothers were known as the “Silvers Brothers Alcohol Mob” during Prohibition, a well-known (even notorious) bootlegging and rum-running operation based in Philadelphia. So the ‘21′ Club, and my interest in wine, were apparently genetically, or at least historically, determined.
In 1993, I returned to my hometown of Philadelphia to attend law school, graduating in 1996 from Temple University Beasley School of Law, where I was selected for the Temple Law Review and received the Best Writer award, among other honors. After law school, I joined the Philadelphia law firm of Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers, practicing securities law, creditor’s rights and complex commercial litigation.
In 1998, I moved to Napa with my wife and our then 18-month old son to pursue a law practice in the wine, vineyard, food and hospitality industries. At Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty for over ten years, I further developed my expertise in these areas. In 2002, I was elected as a Director (and Shareholder) after only four years at the firm.
In 2008, I founded my own firm where I continue to work for business clients at every stage of the business cycle, from entity selection and formation through acquisitions and sale or merger. I have guided individuals and families on various business issues, succession and land use/planning, and have worked on securities offerings and a range of business, entertaiment and real property transactions. In this regard, I have successfully negotiated acquisitions and sales of vineyard, winery, gourmet food, brewery, resort, restaurant and related assets, a range of debt and equity financing transactions, complex vineyard leases and grape contracts, in addition to preparing and structuring investment offering materials and advising clients on a variety of finance, real property, alcohol beverage and business/corporate planning issues, including workouts/restructurings, due diligence and real property sales tax issues/appeals.
My professional affiliations include membership in the Business and Real Property sections of The State Bar of California and the Napa County Bar Association.
My non-lawyer time is spent with my wife Hillary Homzie, a children’s book author and professor, and our three boys, Jonah, Ari and Micah. Other interests include travel (both near and far), food and wine (of course), music (from progressive rock to ska/reggae) and being the helicopter Dad for my sons and their various music/film/academic pursuits.
See article here for a 2019 profile of Matt’s practice in the Napa Valley Register.