Working on the same property where he grew up and became immersed in the life and rhythms of Napa Valley, Eddiebecame head winemaker at Amizetta in 2011. This role follows naturally from his many years in the vineyards and winery that have been run by his family for decades. Now putting his own mark on Amizetta's signature cabernet sauvignon, Eddieis focused on taking full advantage of the family property, which features southern facing slopes at the tail end of Howell Mountain, with an elevation reaching 1,000 feet. The high sun exposure and rocky soils are ideal for growing cabernet grapes, and the wine's evolving style reflects the best that California has to offer.
Eddie's background reflects this dual focus. He holds a degree in viticulture and enology from California State University at Fresno and previously studied viticulture at Napa Valley Junior College. He also brings a wealth of hands-on knowledge. Before college, he lived in Chile and Argentina, exploring the ever-growing South American grape and wine industries; more recently, he returned to Argentina for the 2011 harvest to work at renowned facilities such as Mendel Winery in Mendoza. He has been involved in running Amizetta for many years. "I always knew I wanted to do this," he says, adding that, "I'm definitely glad to be in a family-run operation. It gives us more freedom and leeway to hone our techniques and style."
As a boutique winery, Amizetta reflects the family's personal touch in every part of the business. Eddie works alongside his brothers, Perry and Spencer, who oversee the business and vineyard management. The winery's name honors his mother, Amizetta Clark, who's name is thought to be Italian in origin and means "Little Friend." Edward's father, Spencer Clark, is a long-time musician who still helps market the wine and writes original songs inspired by the beauty of their Napa Valley location and the parallels in viticulture and winemaking to song crafting. The property is completely powered by solar energy and incorporates green farming and other sustainable techniques, reflecting a deep commitment to preserving what makes it so special .
Eddieinherited his parents' dedication to creativity and excellence, as well as their abiding love for the land and way of life that brought them to California more than 30 years ago. With each new vintage, he aims to reach more people with Amizetta's lush, balanced and distinct expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. "Every vintage is unique," he says, adding that he is especially proud of the 2011, which was produced during an unusually cold, wet year in Napa Valley, yet turned out to be dark and rich. "I believe our next one is going to be our best yet."
Country born: U.S.A
Education: Fresno State, Viticulture and Enology
Years in the wine industry: 6 years
"I really want to make a wine people can drink and enjoy right away, with less astringent tannins and more fruit-forward qualities," says Edward, who is moving away from Amizetta's earlier, more Old World style . From a young age, he loved spending time in the vineyard and still believes it holds the secret to amazing wine. "The vineyard side can be unappreciated," he notes, "but I always worked in the vineyard and for a long time that was my main passion. Now it's great that I can bring that understanding to our winemaking."