Meet the new wave of winemakers sponsored by “Stay Rooted in California” – a scholarship program developed by The Roots Fund and Naked Wines
Naked Wines and The Roots Fund are proud to support Daren Clark – one of eight recipients of the “Stay Rooted” Scholarship in 2020-2021.
Daren’s love of wine started in a kitchen, working in Charlottesville, Virginia for a few local chefs. Within a few years, he secured a position at James Beard award-winning Ashley Christensen’s Death & Taxes.
Weekly wine tastings at Death & Taxes pre-shift meetings (run by Sommelier Cappie Pete) first sparked his interest in wine. Pete’s mentorship and guidance drove Daren to pursue Certified Sommelier credentials while simultaneously fulfilling his passion in the kitchen.
When the COVID-19 pandemic halted his studies, Clark saw an opportunity to take a hands-on approach in the cellar, landing a once-in-a-lifetime harvest opportunity at Heitz Cellars – followed by a summer harvest journey through France – and he’s just moving up from here.
“What a ride it’s been this past year! A lot of growth and hard work,” said Clark. “There have been so many people that have contributed to my success up to this point and I thank y’all from the bottom of my heart.”
“I don’t take it for granted,” he continued. “I know there are others who would do almost anything to have the same opportunity.” Clark is currently enrolled in the Winemaking Certificate Program at UC Davis.
About our partner: The Roots Fund was created to empower communities of color by providing resources and financial support through educational scholarships, wine education, mentorship, and job placement. Naked has pledged a 5-year commitment to The Roots Fund and the advancement of the BIPOC community in wine.