In the summer of 2014, I was working as a sales representative when I decided to change careers and return to the wine industry. I remember during a family party, many of the stories were related to jobs in the vineyards and in wineries. I listened closely as one of my brothers said “… each glass of wine comes with a story, a story that is not always mentioned, a story that begins each season with pruning the vine until its fruit is harvested.” He then continued “…the story of each farmer and their team of workers that do their best to produce the highest quality grapes. The story of the winemaking team that aim to improve techniques, all while always protecting the quality of the wine.”
Once I heard that statement and all of the amazing details, I became hooked! I knew I had to be involved in the wine industry and further learn the trade so I could feel the same level of appreciation, passion and pride my family has. Their lifelong dedication, that year after year and decade after decade, they still express their commitment to this world-class wine growing region.
Shortly after that family party, I applied and landed a job in a Napa winery. As a harvest worker, my job duties covered the whole spectrum of cellar work. My interest in learning kept me focused and I became observant to what was happening around me. When the opportunity arose, I would ask questions about the procedures and winemaking techniques being used. These repetitive, but unique steps helped me better understand the early stages of winemaking. Soon enough, I began to figure out why some methods are dependent on certain grape varietals. This return to the winery scene quickly turned from fascination into an idea that I wanted to explore further.
A year later, I applied with a winery based in Sonoma and soon after I received a call with the news I was hoping for – an experienced position where I could help lead a small crew and at times follow direct orders from the winemaker. That winery is Patz & Hall, a company that produces some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Napa and Sonoma. I was thrilled and excited that I could continue adding winemaking experience and over time, my original idea fed my inner passion.
Immediately following that first year, I returned to Napa Valley College and began taking wine related courses. My aspiration led me to explore and gain additional winemaking knowledge and almost instantly, I united my passion of winemaking with a vision of producing wine under my own label.
After working several years in wine production, I have learned that making wine is part science and part art. We all have a story. My story is to craft wine that shows my appreciation for all the hard work, effort and dedication my family has put into this industry. We all have challenges, mine is to not give up until I reach victory.
Pursue your vision, stay focused and don’t stop until you become victorious!