As our climate shifts and presents new obstacles to our viticulture, it will be our collective effort as Napa Valley vintners to maintain the excellence that has been cultivated before us.
How did you get started in the wine business?
After 9 years working in laboratories outside the wine business I had an opportunity to work in the vineyards of bucolic Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. After 3 years battling summer rains in the vineyard and all the unique challenges of Mid-Atlantic winemaking, I decided California was the next necessary step if making wine was to be my career.
What does "cultivating excellence" as a Napa Valley vintner mean to you?
I have the privilege to work alongside so many great Napa Valley winemakers and grape growers making wine from some of the best Cabernet to be found. As our climate shifts and presents new obstacles to our viticulture, it will be our collective effort as Napa Valley vintners to maintain the excellence that has been cultivated before us.
If you weren't a Napa Valley vintner, what would you be doing?
I would probably still be collecting samples along the mighty Delaware River.
If you could open a bottle of your wine and share it with any three people (living or not), who would they be?
Easy one ... Tom Waits, Eddie Vedder and Eddie Murray. I had the opportunity to pour for Eddie Murray once and I was so nervous and shaking that I spilled a little wine while only being able to clumsily offer that, "It's a red." I need that second chance!
What’s the strangest word you’ve used to describe the smell or taste of wine?
Oftentimes I smell a Cab with some barrel age on it and immediately I offer up, "this smells just like Almond Smash." No one gets it and it's ultimately of little help at the blending table. I'm learning to refrain.
What is your winemaking philosophy?
Attention to detail but without getting lost in the minutiae. For me, winemaking decisions need to be the perfect combination of intuition and educated choices.