My first taste of a visit to wine country was in the rolling hills of the Hunter Valley in Australia. My gateway to wine was picturesque, jammy, and juicy. It was the early 90’s and I was young.
Several years later, immersed in the corporate consumer packaged goods grind, I made time to study wine with the state-accredited International Wine Guild in Denver, Colorado. The best part of studying wine is clearly the practice it takes to learn your craft! I found myself making international adventure travel plans that included more of those picturesque wine country moments and chose destination triathlons and century bike rides near US wine country. It wasn’t long before I had to admit, I was bitten by the wine bug. Several wine courses and an International Wine Guild Sommelier certification later, I left the corporate world and found myself nose-in-the-soil in the famous vineyards of Europe. While in London, I studied with the Wine Spirit Education Trust where I earned my intermediate certification with distinction. Following, back in Colorado, I worked on the retail floor in a shop known for “grower” Champagne and a notable selection of nearly 5000 wines. I moved on to work with a young new distributor to open up the competitive Boulder market.
To be closer to the vines, I moved to Oregon in 2015 with my heart set on discovering and contributing to all of what the “front lines” of the wine industry had to offer. I took on harvest work and learned the history of the Willamette Valley while teaching others in a tasting room. I continue to pursue my goal of helping the nascent Oregon wine industry grow by working with the small producers of Cellar 503 and driving tours in wine country.
I believe wine is best enjoyed with others. Don’t be surprised to hear me quote my favorite scene in Sideways, “the occasion is the bottle.” Cheers!