Winemaker, Chateau Montelena Winery
I have been the winemaker at Chateau Montelena since 2008, and was the assistant winemaker here for the 4 years prior to that. Along with my winemaking duties, I have had the opportunity to redesign and oversee the construction of an entirely new fermentation cellar, down to the smallest detail. I was also integral in the purchase and installation of a new bottling line into a mobile trailer. In addition, I am proud to have managed the installation of a 220kW photovoltaic (solar electric) system that provides 100% of the annual electrical needs for the winery and vineyards.
Country born: USA
Education: University of California at Davis – MS in Food Science – Enology
University of New Mexico – BS in Microbiology and Biology, BA in Foreign Languages - Spanish
Years in the wine industry: 10-15 years
Honors / Awards:
American Society of Enology and Viticulture Annual Meeting - Best Student Paper, Enology 2002
As a winemaker I strive to bring out the best of what the grape has to offer, while minimizing the signature of the winemaking process. My goal is to showcase the unique characters of the vineyard and the vintage, not my hand in the process. I believe my job as a winemaker is to guide the wines in my charge, caring for them and keeping them on the right track, carefully augmenting or shaping as needed. Classically structured wines lower in alcohol (12-14%) and with careful use of oak along with crisp acidity are my preference. I have worked with most of the varietals commonly grown in the US and a few less common ones, as well. My experience has focused on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Pinot Noir.