— My winemaking philosophy is all about making wines that I am proud to share with family and friends.
Oysters and Chablis.
I was an intern at Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville. I had a unique internship where I spent 3 months working in the To Kalon Vineyard, and then 3 months in the cellar. During harvest, I worked closely with Genevieve Janssens and spent another 3 months after harvest in the lab. It was great to work closely with the team and learn all areas of production.
I grew up on a vineyard in Lodi, CA. My dad is in the sales side of the wine and spirits business, and I knew from an early age that I really valued and took interest in the production process. When I finished playing professional basketball in Australia, I took an internship at Robert Mondavi Winery and never looked back.
I am a lover of Irish Wolfhounds. I have had a Wolfhound in my life ever since I was a freshman in college.
When I was at Robert Mondavi Winery, Genevieve and Rich Arnold opened every Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon that Mondavi has made, dating back to 1966. Both Genevieve and Rich had been on the winemaking team since the mid-70s, so hearing their recollections and stories from each vintage was an incredible experience for me.
Kobe Bryant, Winston Churchill and Bill Murray.
Genevieve Janssens, she took me under her wing early in my career. I valued her in-depth knowledge of the To Kalon Vineyard, how she made her picking decisions, cap management practices, cooper selections, etc. For a young winemaker, I was very fortunate to be able to learn from someone who has over 40 years of experience making wine in the Napa Valley, specifically the famous To Kalon Vineyard.
I think cultivating excellence means we are thinking long term with our vineyard practices (sustainable/organic), and making wines that are age-worthy and have a sense of where they are grown.