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 work in the vineyard and in wineries. I began listening 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 farmer and laborer that do their best as a team to produce the highest quality grapes, to the winemaking team that always try to improve techniques to preserve and protect the quality of the future wine.”
After listening to that statement, I became hooked! I knew I had to be involved in the wine industry.
Shortly before harvest, I applied and finally landed a job at a 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 methods that are dependent on the grape varietal. My fascination soon turned into an idea that I wanted to explore.
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!