In 2014, I was working as a customer service sales representative when I decided to change careers and return to the wine industry. I remember that summer family party, all stories were related to their jobs in the vineyard or in wine production. While I sipped on wine, 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 and caring for the vine all the way until its fruit is harvested.” He paused and continued “…the story of each farmer and laborer that do their best as a team to produce the highest quality grapes, to the winemaking team that utilize proven and new techniques to better manage, preserve and protect the quality of the future wine.” After that statement I was hooked, I had to be involved and be part of the wine industry.
A couple of months went by and I finally had a job at a winery, right as harvest was around the corner. As the new employee, 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 processing of the fruit and winemaking techniques. These repetitive, but unique procedures helped me better understand the early stages of winemaking steps. I eventually began to project and figure out specific methods, which are dependent on the grape varietal and the terroir they are from.
Later, I applied with a company based in Sonoma and soon after, I received a call with news that I was waiting and 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, who produce some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Napa and Sonoma. I was thrilled! Immediately following my first harvest with them, I returned to Napa Valley College and began taking wine related courses to help pursue my new fascination and 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 the best wine possible to show my appreciation for all the effort my family has put into the industry. We all have challenges, mine is to not give up until I reach victory. Follow your calling and don’t stop until you become victorious!