Winemaker, Lewis Cellars
Working as a harvest intern at Stags' Leap Winery in 1999 was what sealed my fate. I knew without a doubt that winemaking was my calling. Interning with wineries in Sonoma and Chile, and working as an Assistant Brewer in Davis, I completed my Viticulture and Enology degree. My goal was always to return to Napa to work at some of the greatest estates in the world.
Upon graduating, I interned at Chimney Rock Winery in the Stags Leap District. Over 6 years I climbed the ranks from Harvest Intern to Assistant Winemaker. In 2008, all of my hard work paid off as I moved on to the winemaking team at Pahlmeyer. During my tenure at Pahlmeyer I continued my goal of producing "Outstanding" and "Classic/Extraordinary" wines. After ascending to Winemaker at Pahlmeyer, I set my sights on another adventure. I consider myself lucky to be one of a long line of exceptional individuals that have worked with the Lewis family as Winemaker.
Country born: United States
Education: Bachelor of Science in Viticulture and Enology from U.C. Davis
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
Honors / Awards:
Acted as President, Treasurer, and Wine Steward on the board of Napa Wine Technical Group.
My winemaking philosophy can best be summed up by my life philosophy, "Push the limits!" Vineyards in great sites, with vines nudged towards levels of ripeness and concentration on the edge, coupled with thorough extraction and flavor maturation in the cellar, can result in rich yet balanced wines through vigilance and patience. Being on the edge can sometimes mean going back to Old World traditions. One can never rest on assumptions. Experimentation is key. Winemaking is a huge, long, intricate equation - years in the making. Any single decision can take things in an entirely different direction. One's palate is the ultimate driver and what's enthralling about the wine artistry of winemaking.