I found my passion for wine early in life.
In 1980, I got my start working in the fields at Brander Winery and Vineyards in Santa Ynez. When it rained, I would go inside the winery to help with racking barrels, cleaning pumps and filters, or whatever was necessary at the time. One day while racking barrels, I tasted the Chardonnay I helped harvest only two weeks earlier and was amazed with what these grapes had produced. In 1985, I was offered a position managing, La Presa Vineyards, a 40 acre vineyard in Solvang, owned by Eric Caldwell and which I still manage today. Eric was also a partner in the Santa Ynez Winery where he offered me a job, working with a Wine Maker who taught me the Enology, the study of wine and making of wine. In 1997, Eli Parker offered me a position at the Fess Parker Winery, in Santa Ynez, as a Wine Maker. Here I began making five of their bottled varietals, receiving accolades for the wines. In 2004, Fess Parker submitted the 2003 Riesling, to a wine competition in Germany. This Riesling received 14th place in a worldwide competition.
Soon after, I started to receive Gold Medals and 90+ point ratings in prestigious wine magazines, including a 92 point score in the Wine Enthusiast for my own wine, a 2002 Petite Sirah. In 2005, I took the position of Wine Maker at Rideau Vineyard in Solvang. In 2006, the Estate Roussanne won Best White Wine in the “White Wines of the World” LA County International Competition. Similarly, the Reserve Chardonnay was given 98 points and received Best Chardonnay in the State in the 2006 California State Fair. In 2007, I was selected to create a wine for the Latin Grammys. From 2008 to 2011, I received innumerable Gold and Double Gold Medals from various large scale competitions both state and nationwide.
I was fortunate to find my passion at an early age and continue to love the work I do. I am dedicated to the craft of understanding the soils, the climate and the grapes, all which unfolds into the “art of winemaking”.
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