Jeff Ames

Winemaker, TOR Kenward Family Wines

Jeff Ames

I love that what I make gives folks enjoyment.

Jeff's career started in a Memphis wine shop while he was in college.

How many years have you been in the Napa Valley wine industry?

I moved to Napa in 1999.

How did you get started in the wine business?

I got a part-time job at a wine shop in Memphis during college.

Which wine was your "a-ha!" wine – the one that made you love wine or inspired you to get into the industry?

Probably the 1994 Caymus Napa Cabernet.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?

I love that what I make gives folks enjoyment, and hopefully a better meal.

What are the greatest challenges?

Getting the best fruit.

What do you think makes Napa Valley unique compared to other wine regions?

It has the greatest combination of winemaking and vineyard talent, climates and soil types.

How does your winery help tell the Napa Valley story?

Started small and family-owned, grew slowly in size and quality through the years.

If you weren't a Napa Valley vintner, what would you be doing?

Teaching elementary school.

What advice would you offer someone trying to get into the Napa Valley wine industry?

You better not expect to make any money for a long time.