Born in North Carolina, my family relocated to the Willamette Valley when I was 9 years old. Nearly 20 years later, in the midst of two years of study with the International Sommelier Guild, I landed my first harvest internship, under Patrick Taylor at Cana's Feast in 2009. In 2010, I worked for Thibaud Mandet at WillaKenzie Estate, and then spent the winter pruning and pulling 125 acres of canes. In early 2011, I flew south for harvest at Akarua, in Central Otago, NZ. I arrived in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California in the summer of 2011, where I worked for Jeff Brinkman at Rhys Vineyards. I completed my third harvest of 2011 back in the Willamette Valley, with Thibaud Mandet again at WillaKenzie Estate. In the fall of 2012 and 2013, I worked under Brian Sieve at Domaine de Montille in Meursault. After my seventh harvest in five years on three continents, I returned home with a vision to craft Willamette Valley Chardonnay. I am grateful to make wine which honors history, grape, time and place.
Photos by Robert Hill Long