Champagne, Merlot, Petite Syrah
1971 Chateau Margaux
Born to a Swiss Italian family in Monterey County, food and wine was always a part of our family. We were a very Catholic family with two nuns and a priest within the local family tree, food and wine were among the few indulgences they could enjoy and oh, did they ever. Fresh, homecooked meals were essential, as was the wine. Growing up in the Salinas Valley, and being local to the Monterey Bay, being spoiled on fresh farm to table ingredients was never lost on me. As a teenage we would find a friend with a car, and a driver’s license, and go spend our hard earned babysitting money at the local fine dining establishments. Exploring the different fragrances, flavors, and textures of culinary creations was always fascinating to me.
Fast forward to my college days at UC Davis, I was serving and bartending at different restaurants to supplement my finances while earning my double bachelors in Psychology and Sociology, The obvious agenda there was to savor dishes above my paygrade rather than survive on the cafeteria food. It was then that I started to explore wine and had the epiphany that would change the course of my career. I could work in Napa while finishing my degree, and explore the world of wine. Maybe the sensory experience would be just as intriguing to me as the culinary experience.
Well, it was! I was hook from the get-go and never looked back. I’ve now worked within the Napa wine industry for 15 years. I’ve taken on many roles within several wineries exploring the in’s and out’s of what it takes to make a winery succeed, from compliance to wine club management. I have to say I love it all. The wines become friends, I love getting to know their core personalities, the versions they can become within different regions, different craftsmens hands. It is so exciting to explore. Though the most fulfilling aspect of the job is connecting with the people. There is something inherently personal about working with, and sharing, wine. You get to know your clients on a deeper, personal, level. There is a responsibility in being a conduit of the wine that I take very seriously. No, we’re not saving lives by any means, but we are stewards of lifelong memories and relationships. Bottles become symbols of the weddings, best friends, countless afternoons with our favorite people, at our favorite places, loved ones that are no longer with us. It is truly a unique and precious by-product of the work that we do, and I do not take that for granted.