Winemaker, Spiriterra Vineyards
I have been in the wine industry over 30 years beginning as a lab tech at The Wine Lab working with Lisa Van de Water for two and a half years. Following 24 years at Raymond Vineyards first in the lab and ultimately as winemaker, I have been winemaker at Judd's Hill Microcrush since 2008. From lab manager to long-time winemaker, I accumulated much experience with estate and non-estate fruit and the minutiae of winemaking.
Country born: United States
Education: BS in Organic Chemistry and two years of graduate study at USC. I consider Lisa Van de Water and Walter Raymond as my mentors, but I have learned much from many people during my career.
Years in the wine industry: 30+ years
i believe in letting the grapes dictate the wine style. If the flavor or aroma profile needs to be adjusted, I prefer to use blending wine to achieve the balance that is lacking. I feel that oak is often overused and hides the varietal characters of the wine. I prefer to have oak as a complexity, and the fruit as the dominant feature of the wine. Since drinkability is a personal assessment, I feel that a wine should be well balanced in tannin through the mouth and also well balanced in acid and phH to keep the fruit together while the tannins age out. I am not a big fan of tannic, high alcohol, high pH wines which seem to taste good now but have little hope of longevity.