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Henrik Poulsen

Director of Winemaking and Executive Manager, Acumen

Henrik Poulsen

Having the fortune to be involved with something you’re passionate about is a reward in itself.

Henrik advice to those wanting to get into the wine industry is to take advantage of a harvest internship to test the waters.

When was your first Napa Valley harvest?


How did you get started in the wine business?

I received my initial education in retail/wine trade in Denmark and moved to France/Bordeaux to get hands-on experience with winemaking.

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

Raised by wine-loving parents, I was exposed to great wines early on but believe 1982 Chateau Lynch-Moussas was the first bottle I purchased myself with the intention to "build a cellar."

Name a Napa Valley vintner who has influenced you and briefly explain why.

My friend Jean Hoefliger taught me lots of things during our 12 vintages working together (first at Newton Vineyards and later at Alpha Omega Winery).

What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?

Like the saying goes "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." Having the fortune to be involved with something you’re passionate about is a reward in itself.

What are you doing at your winery to help preserve and enhance Napa Valley for the future? (e.g., sustainable practices, family succession plan, community service, etc.)

Being respectful stewards of the land Acumen decided to switch from conventional to 100% organic farming on our 116 acres of estate vineyards.

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

From a winemaking perspective, I would recommend getting involved in harvest with an internship to test the waters. From an investment/owner perspective – I would advise double-checking if you have the necessary passion, patience and funds to succeed. This business is more about buying into a lifestyle, and there’s no guarantee for (immediate) financial success.

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