Winemaker, Pride Mountain Vineyards
I obtained a Master's Degree in winemaking at UC Davis and then began my career at St. Francis Winery in Sonoma County, where I spent eight years. I took a brief hiatus to work at St. Hallett Winery in South Australia's Barossa Valley and also produced my own brand, Lalys Cellars, for three years. In the spring of 2007, I joined the team at Pride Mountain Vineyards and am thrilled to be producing wines from our unique and phenomenal estate.
Country born: United States
Education: University of Michigan, BS in French Literature and Biology
Six months' study in Paris and Brittany, France
Two months study in Tunisia
University of California at Davis, MS in Winemaking
Society of Wine Educators Scholarship
Wine Spectator Scholarship
Internship at St Hallett Winery in Australia
Trained with winemakers Bob Foley, Tom Mackey, Stuart Blackwell and Matt Gant; vineyard consultants Paul Skinner and Zach Berkowitz
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
My philosophy is to let the quality and character of our estate vineyards speak for themselves. Much of the winemaking is done in the vineyard, so careful monitoring of our 85 acres of vineyards is critical, and I am passionate about micromanaging our vineyards to achieve the highest potential from each vine. I make picking decisions based solely on flavor and the grape's physiological ripeness. I employ both traditional and modern winemaking techniques to achieve the roundness and concentration that make our big mountain wines both balanced and nuanced. The final step is the blending, which has a huge impact on the final character of my wines. Each of our 42 vineyard blocks is fermented and aged separately, so that my options for blending our thirteen wines are essentially limitless.