I worked my way through the ranks, beginning with my degree in chemistry. In 1996, I began a job in the Beaulieu Vineyards lab, working side-by-side with the BV winemakers. While helping them to analyze their award-winning wines, I discovered my own passion for winemaking. I found that winemaking is both scientific and artistic, and I knew what I wanted to do next. Finally, I found a profession that blended science and chemistry with art and creativity.
Before Suisun Valley
Attending the winemaking program at Fresno State was an awesome opportunity for me to identify the kind of wine I wanted to make. Two years after working in the university’s Viticultural Research Center, running five graduate programs, and winning the award for Outstanding Enology Student, I became assistant winemaker at Dashe Cellars and enologist for JC Cellars. Jeff Chon and Michael Dashe offered me the chance to make my own wine, and I was off and running!
First Big Crush
I started Blacksmith Cellars in 2003, with the release of my 2001 Blacksmith Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This was truly my own creation. I did it all, from tending the grapes, hand-sorting and crushing, to punching down, pressing, blending and finally bottling my own wine.
Visit Us at the Co-op
I enjoy pouring my wine at the Suisun Valley Wine Co-op. It’s exciting to educate everyone about Blacksmith Cellars and my winemaking style. I am in Suisun Valley because of the people. We take a lot of pride in what we do and we love the fact that our grapes are starting to be used on their own, not as part of a blend. The valley has a small, personable group of wineries. Everyone knows everyone else, no egos just a cooperative spirit.
Along with my Suisun Valley wines, including Marvin Vineyard Chardonnay and my Late Harvest Malvasia Bianca, I craft wines from Alexander Valley and Monterey. I like specializing in new or lesser-known varieties. My goal is to capture the unique benefits from the appellation that I source from.
Blacksmith Cellars Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Late Harvest Malvasia Bianca, Late Harvest Syrah, Syrah, Torrontes, Verdelho