Winemaker, Shafer Vineyards
When I graduated from UC Davis, I knew I wanted to work for a smaller winery that would give me the chance to be a "hands-on" winemaker, getting involved in all aspects of running a cellar. I had a lot of excitement getting into this career and that excitement has stayed with me.
Country born: United States
Education: B.S. in Fermentation Science from U.C. Davis
Years in the wine industry: 30+ years
Honors / Awards:
"Winemaker of the Year" - Food & Wine magazine and Wine & Spirits magazine; inducted into the Hispanic Scholarship Fund's Hispanic Hall of Fame at The White House
Coming into this 40 years ago, I thought that winemaking happened underneath the roof of the cellar. Today who I am as a winemaker has umbrellaed in a big way. Winemaking starts in January with pruning and continues throughout the year. I'm not just selecting the best fruit, I'm selecting the best corks, the right barrel staves, ensuring that the bottling line is working at top efficiency. What I've also learned is to let the land dictate the best grape variety and the style of the wine that ends up in the bottle.