Winemaker, Pride Mountain Vineyards
Born and raised in the Midwest, Matt packed up his car in 2010 and followed his dream of making wine to Northern California. Under the mentorship of Kerry Damskey, he rose quickly through the production ranks in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley to become a cellar master. Still hungry for knowledge after asking all the questions he knew to ask, Matt pursued graduate studies in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. Upon receiving his Master of Science degree, he accepted a harvest position at Screaming Eagle and spent seven months in the cellar there before heading to New Zealand to lead a team making their premium Bordeaux varieties at the Sophia Winery of Craggy Range. Back in California for harvest 2017, Matt joined Atelier Melka, where he made wines for over 20 client wineries over the course of five years, managing over a hundred ferments each year from vineyards across all of Napa and Sonoma. Alongside his mentors, Philippe Melka and Maayan Koschitzky, Matt has produced some of the finest recent wines to come out of Napa and Sonoma, garnering an impressive number of 100-point critical reviews for his many distinct wines.
Country born: United States, Illinois
Viticulture and Enology; M.Sc. – UC Davis
Phillipe Melka, Kerry Damskey, Maayan Koschitzky, Nick Gislason
Screaming Eagle; Oakville, CA.
Craggy Range; Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand - Sophia Winery Lead
Sterling Vineyards; Harvest Enologist
Years in the wine industry: 10-15 years
Honors / Awards:
Araujo Family Endowed International Harvest Award
Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship
The Wine Spectator Scholarship
Curiosity is the core tenant of my approach as a winemaker. From the vines growing the grapes, to the nuances of a fermentation and through to the integration of wines at blending, I am relentless in my pursuit to understand every facet of making delicious wines. One of my favorite aspects of winemaking is that the more know, the more you realize how much else there is to learn.