I have a strong vision for Rancho Zabaco wines and it takes everyone in the vineyard and in the winery to help me make that vision a reality. I grew up near Sacramento, and my first models for great wine were the rich Zinfandels and aromatic Alsatian whites that I found in the Sierra Foothills region around Amador County. I was drawn in by the intense aromas and flavors, the unique styles, and the rich mouthfeel these wines provided, and these are sensibilities I’ve tried to carry forward in my winemaking today.
I went to the University of California at Davis to study fermentation science, and in those days the classes included people studying to be bakers, brewers, and pharmaceutical engineers, as well as winemakers. I thought I wanted to be a brewer, but then I looked at where some of the major U.S. breweries are located--in big cities like St. Louis or Milwaukee--versus where many wineries are located, and I changed my focus in order to be able to live in places like Sonoma County.
I feel very lucky to be able to raise my family in one of the most beautiful places on earth, to work with an amazing team of people in the vineyard and in the winery, and to be able to ride my bicycle to work. I hope some of my joy and sense of place comes through in Rancho Zabaco wines.