How did you discover your creativity?
When I was 6 years old, I asked my mom if I could join my sister in the local modern jazz studio and she said yes. I guess early on, for me creativity meant a physical engagement in what I wanted to create. It certainly still is the case today. Through my years in high school and college, part of the curriculum was botany, involving drawing plants in lab, which I really liked. It’s not something I do on a regular basis, but it certainly helps you being very focus on details which is critical in my job.
Name the biggest challenge you have had in your career to date. How did you solve it?
Working as a freelance winemaker. It was always something I had in mind and I really enjoy it right now. Networking was key to find the two projects I am involved in. And self motivation is always a constant one.
What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?
When I became the winemaker at Saintsbury in 2004. It really opened a lot of door and opportunities once you get that title.
What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?
A calculator, a ruler, a laptop, a pen, a chapstick, two notebooks, always some magazine. I am old school in some ways so notebooks are always welcome. Also, somehow, I always find myself drawing things to explain vineyard blocks or winemaking procedures. During certain time of the season, you can also find some pruning shears and also a cell counter.
Do you have any advice for someone starting out in your creative profession?
You really need to start at the bottom of the ladder, be ok with that and develop early on a sense of taste and place. Highly recommended to go overseas and at least spend one harvest there, be in in Europe or in the Southern Hemisphere.
What would be your DREAM ASSIGNMENT?
Making Sherry in Spain. I love sherry.
Who are the people that have been instrumental in your success as a creative professional?
John Kongsgaard and Ted Lemon. Both of them have been very generous to me in many shape and forms and have always been very encouraging and supportive.
What would be your last supper?
HANDS DOWN pan seared foie gras with a glass of Sauternes. On toasted bread. No brioche. and many friends!
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