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 their jobs in the vineyards and in wineries. I listened attentively 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 of the vine until its fruit is harvested.” He then continued “…the story of each grapegrower and their team of laborers that do their best to produce the highest quality grapes, to the winemaking team that always strives to improve fermentation techniques, all while protecting the quality of the future wine.”
Once I heard that statement, I became hooked! I knew I had to be involved in the wine industry. I wanted to furthur learn the trade so I could feel the same level of passion and pride my family has. Their lifelong dedication, that year after year and decade after decade, they still show their commitment to this Valley that’s known to produce world-class wines.
Shortly after that family party, I applied and landed a job in a Napa winery. As the seasonal harvest worker, my job duties covered the whole spectrum of cellar work. My interest in learning kept me focused and I became very 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. I soon began to think ahead, project and figure out some methods that were dependent on grape varietal. My return to a winery scene quickly turned into a fascination and idea that I wanted to explore it furthur.
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 in wine production where I could lead a small crew and follow orders directly from the winemaker! The winery was Patz & Hall, a company that produces some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Napa and Sonoma. I was thrilled and excited to continue adding winemaking experience and over time, my idea led to my current vision.
Immediately following that first year, I returned to Napa Valley College and began taking wine related courses to help pursue my new journey and help broaden my wine knowledge.
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 new 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.
Follow your calling, stay focused and don’t stop until you become victorious!