The science of winemaking has always fascinated me, but it was something else that led me to the wine industry. Despite centuries of study, so much remains a mystery about wine. Winemakers must combine science with artistic creativity, and it is addicting. I love every aspect of wine production, not just the work and its results, but the people and culture surrounding it all.
I was another lost adolescent when I began my studies at California Polytechnic University. Not a bad student, just lacking in passion and motivation until I took my first harvest position at a local winery and everything changed. I promptly changed my curriculum and just a couple years later, was appointed the student winemaker for Cal Poly Wine and graduating with two Bachelor's Degrees: Wine & Viticulture and Agricultural Business.
Over the years, my career has allowed me to work alongside numerous talented winemakers, who have taught me a myriad of approaches and techniques of winemaking. I have worked in facilities ranging in size from 2,000 to 30,000 tons, and managed 80-ton Cabernet Sauvignon ferments, 200,000-liter Chardonnay batches, 500-liter Gruner Veltliner batches, 1/2-ton Pinot Noir ferments, and everything in between. I have worn pretty much every hat possible in a winery: client winemaker, tank digger, press operator, fermentation winemaker, punchdown specialist, forklift driver, intake winemaker, lab rat, sanitation expert, cellar supervisor, cellar hand, inoculation guru, and the list goes on.
In 2013, I decided to apply my winemaking knowledge to a new challenge and took on the role of cidermaker for Albens Cider in Bali, Indonesia.