Winemaker, Casa Nuestra Winery & Vineyards
I've been making wine in Napa Valley for more than 40 years and have been involved since 1975 at Casa Nuestra, first as consulting winemaker, and for the last eight years as winemaker. When my friend, Gene Kirkham, purchased the vineyards here, it was clear that the place matched one of my passions: working with traditional, but now out-of-the-ordinary Napa Valley grape varietals, as opposed to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
As one would expect after five decades making wine, my career has seen me involved with many wineries, including The Hess Collection Winery, Charles Krug, Beringer and Dry Creek. I've also had the good fortune to make wine alongside good friends, including Gene at the Casa, Reg Oliver at El Molino and Randle Johnson at The Hess Collection Winery. For me the camaraderie, collegiality, friendships and the constant drive to make the current year's vintage the best ever have been worth more than any wage I have every received.
Country born: United States
Education: My education was completed prior to the advent of formal wine education in this country. Following the legacy of my father, who was a famous inventor, I have a Bachelor's Degree in Physics. I have worked alongside many mentors over the years and continue to do so today. I've sought out and completed international experience in the Loire Valley (homeland to many of the Casa's grapes) and in South America
Years in the wine industry: 30+ years
My intention is to make wines of recognizable varietal character that are smooth and drinkable without waiting forever. I spend a lot of time in the dirt of the vineyard. It sounds trite to say that great wine begins in the vineyard, but there is no escaping the reality of that fact.