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Behind the Wine

The Liftetime Channel features celebrity winemaker, Katy Michaud

Angel-funded winemaker Katy Michaud is a world-class winemaker that YOU made world-famous. Check out the celebrity winemaker that Angels discovered in 2015 – Katy appeared on the Lifetime Channel this summer and she’s taking the world by storm!

You’re a brilliant backer with impeccable taste

Katy is an incredible winemaker who has worked all up and down the west coast from Santa Cruz, California all the way up to Walla Walla, Washington. And she even did a run in New Zealand at Kim Crawford.

Katy was always the hard-working talent behind big brands and her hard work contributed to those brands getting bought out by some very big players in the wine industry. But she was never the face of the wine. It was never her name on the label… Until Angels came along.

Angels gave Katy the funding she needed to make her own wines. And you gave her the freedom to make the wines they should be made!

Thanks to you, Katy is a celebrity winemaker

Just watch the Lifetime clip. Katy’s on TV, charming the world with her Washington wines. She’s got over 11,000 ratings from her first vintage of Angel-funded wines.

And none of that would be possible without your support.

Katy Michaud, winemaker in her tractor at harvest time
Katy Michaud living her dreams thanks to you

I personally remember a story about Katy from when we launched this company in 2012. Back then, we barely had 1,000 Angels and I was going through wine business magazines looking for opportunities to get more talented winemakers. I heard that Constellation bought a bunch of wineries up in Washington state and I wrote down the names of the winemakers (because often times, a big company buys the brands but then lets the winemakers go). And I thought to myself, I’d love to free these winemakers. It is a great personal pride that three years later, we freed one of those winemakers … the one and only Katy Michaud.

For more info about your latest success story…

You can read all about Katy on her winemaker page, and follow her to get excellent updates straight from the vineyards and winery.

Here’s Katy’s story in her own words:

“I came down from the mountains in 1999, and got a job as a cellar worker in Santa Cruz at Bonny Doon Vineyards . After getting a Winemaking Certificate at UC Davis, I worked a harvest in Australia’s Margaret River region, and I was hooked. After a stint back in Santa Cruz as an assistant enologist at David Bruce Winery, I headed north to Washington. At Canoe Ridge Vineyard in Walla Walla, I became an assistant winemaker, and around then I also got married to a fellow winemaker, and began our famly. We all went back down under for a season of conducting cold fermentations at Kim Crawford in New Zealand.

In the summer of 2007 Covey Run asked me to be its winemaker. At the time Covey was the second-largest Washington winery led by a woman. There’s a certain amount of satisfaction in planting a “Girl!” flag in the once male-dominated winemaking landscape.

Then in 2011 I took a call from Anthony Von Mandl (Canadian wine baron and owner of Mike’s Hard Lemonade) to set up a winery and crush just over the border in Canada’s hottest spot (literally and figuratively)– the lower Okanogan Valley. While working with no constraints and creating a brand and style from the ground up was heady stuff, moving farther north was too hard for our family, so after 9 months of commuting we decided to stay in WA. Since then, I have kept myself busy with three wine projects, all of which started to come into fruition in late 2015.

I love each little decision along the way as grapes become wine. At the end of the process — the moment a wine goes to bottle — the life cycle is finished. The winemaker can continue to taste a bottled wine, but the control you once had over it is gone. There’s no modification, blending, pleading you can do to change the outcome anymore, and that’s both scary and beautiful. The wine is what it is. It is published.

I make loud, floral whites with lots of backbone and a thread — maybe a heavy-handed thread — of acidity that works for the nose and body. Balance, fruit character and some lightness is important. Nose is critical. I tend to listen to the wine and follow its lead rather than strong-arm it in one direction or another.

Blending whites presents a clear path with few options. Blending reds is muddier, more subjective. Whites show me the way, and the varietals that speak loudest are Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer and Muscat. For reds, I prefer less extraction and less brawn. More elegance than brute. I like lighter styles of red and Petite Sirah. Cooler climate reds like Syrah and Malbec are great. And while I don’t get to work with it as much as I’d like, I especially love Pinot Noir.”

 

 

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