1. Your start in Napa was early on — right out of winemaking school! What was your first Napa harvest like?
It was incredible, so hard and rigorous with Trefethen family vineyards. I did an internship where I rotated between the vineyard, cellar, and lab and got to be part of an entire grape-to-bottle wine project with their Napa Riesling. That’s where I fell in love with Riesling and why I now make one of my own. I loved how every day was a new challenge in the winery and I got to keep learning through all of it. I still get the harvest adrenaline rush — and I don’t think that’ll ever go away!
2. How did your beginning years in Napa influence your style today?
I learned early on that every vintage is unique and focusing on the vineyard itself is how you’ll make the very best wine. To this day I still walk the vineyards I source from and make sure that the wines for each vintage are consistent and true to that year’s fruit.
3. After a break working in Chile, what did it mean to you to return to Napa?
I was gone for a short harvest in Chile and I loved coming home to the diversity of Napa’s grapes and the proximity to incredible areas like Clarksburg. I learned so many lessons in Chile, like how great wine can still be made in larger quantities with lower price points — and that’s something I brought back to Napa and my sourcing for Miriam wines.
4. Your Chenin Blanc for Naked is legendary (and award-winning!) — what was the path to your best-in-class white wine?
I learned about Chenin Blanc and the vineyards it’s sourced from in Clarksburg while working for Pine Ridge (an iconic Napa winery!). I fell in love with the fruit and the wine, just as I had years ago with Riesling, and I wanted to share it with the Angel community. I’m so grateful that it’s been just as big of a hit with Angels who love it just as much as me!
5. What do you think is the Napa secret ingredient?
Patience, patience, patience. Wines often express themselves when you least expect it. Waiting for the grapes to tell you when the fruit or wine are ready for the next phase of their life usually works out best.
6. Is there a Napa white wine that you think deserves the spotlight?
All of them! I think Napa makes beautiful wines and if I’m hosting a dinner party, you can count on sparkling wines like a delicious Blanc de Blanc from Schramsberg.