After working in restaurants for almost 20 years, and having passed through almost every position in the front of the house, I found myself gravitating more and more towards wine…
A little over 13 years ago, just before the birth of my first child, I was invited to take the Wine & Spirits Education Trust level 3 course. The class was a great experience, and became a pivotal point for me as it led me to focus more directly on wine as a full career and segue beyond work in restaurants.
At about this time, I was running a wine program for a local Italian restaurant. My employer asked that I look for a wine for a private label he wanted to incorporate into our beverage program. In doing this, and dealing with all the inherent legal regulations, I began to see a path towards production. I started reading everything I could about the science of wine and began asking every winemaker who came into the restaurant how they did what they did.
By 2012, I was searching out a winemaking space and getting licensed. 2013 was my first year as a winemaker, and ever since, I’ve tried to build on the previous year’s experiences. As of 2016 all of the fruit I source is grown organically. Since 2017 I've been taking on leases to farming vineyards in places such as Calaveras, Mendocino, and Contra Costa Counties with the goal of someday having my own more permanent piece of land. Also, as of 2017, I've moved into a warehouse space in Richmond, CA where I've created a collective of natural winemakers, roughly 14 of us to date.
In 2018 I converted the office space at the front of the winery into a bar, The Study. I did this at the urging of our neighbors so they could have a place to hang out, but also selfishly, so that I could buy the wine of other producers to continue learning about what's going on in the business, craft, and art of natural wine.
2021 marks my eighth vintage making wine, and my passion has only gotten more intense. The wines continue to evolve and I've had the great fortune of being able to present them at some wonderful natural wine fairs such as RAW, Brumaire, and Third Coast Soif.
In the coming years, I look forward to developing a mentor program and advise anyone who's interested to contact me for a discussion (510.295.5442).