My relationship with wine began while attending Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, where I became increasingly aware of wine and its unique connection to the Willamette Valley.
After working in a vineyard the summer before my senior year, my interests were piqued about building a career in the wine industry in this area.
Doing a pump-over on the 2019 Syzygy Red Blend
A Pinot Noir cluster that partially mutated into Pinot Blanc
This resonated with my childhood years in southeastern Iowa which were strongly influenced by my family’s Christmas tree farm and furniture store dating back to 1900.
After graduating in 2007, it was time to find a job to pay the bills, so I found a spot on a cellar crew for the 2008 harvest at the 12th & Maple Wine Co. in Dundee. During harvest, I was trained on how to properly do cellar work by the experienced and knowledgeable cellar masters and winemakers.
After the HARVEST ENDED, I WAS HOOKED. In the slow months following, I continued learning about wine through studying enology and viticulture.
I turned to great resources in the local libraries, Chemeketa Community College, and the winemakers, vineyard growers, and wine gurus that I came across.
Over 11 years and 14 harvests later, I’ve had numerous opportunities to gain valuable insight into the winemaking process. I continue to be fascinated by the metamorphosis of grapes becoming wine through the process of fermentation.
Anticrepuscular glow at sunset with the moon rising over the trees
Bottling Day. Here's the crew working on the 2018 Rose.
Working as the assistant winemaker & cellar master for Grochau Cellars for the last six years alongside owner John Grochau has proven to be very valuable due to his encouragement to plumb the depths of various winemaking experiments and debates while cultivating my own perspective.
Staying close to the slow-developing nature of making wine from grape to glass has solidified my conviction in what wine is and can be.
It has been incredibly rewarding to be able to observe connections between the anecdotes of the winemakers with the theories of the chemists and scientists.