I grew up in the Bordeaux region of France, which is well known for its vineyards, the coastal climate of the Atlantic and its historical towns.
My family’s only remote connection to wine is through my grandfather. Indeed, I inherited from him the ability to make liquor from any fruits in his native region of Alsace.
I have always had a passion for growing plants. My first love was for the Bonsai tree. Then viticulture came along naturally as I was surrounded by the vineyards of Bordeaux. I enrolled in winemaking and enology school to make my passion into my future career. I graduated from the Medoc and the Saint-Emilion regional technical schools.
At Chateau Petrus in the Pomerol wine region, I started to truly learn the winemaking craft. Merlot and Cabernet Franc are kings in this part of the world. Small batches of grapes are fermented in small tanks to respect the terroir and the characteristics of each single vineyard. I learned how to care for wines after they went through fermentation. Ageing them in ultra-premium oak barrels is an experience in and of itself. All is done using traditional methods that have not changed much for generations.
At Chateau La Tour Carnet in the Haut-Medoc Appellation, I focused on Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
I wanted to discover the world and fulfill my childhood dream of living in America, so I enrolled in an exchange program and started working in Oregon at Willamette Valley Vineyards. Under the supervision of a French-trained winemaker, I studied the ways Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were made, in the best Burgundian tradition. I extended my first stay in the U.S. with a gig down in Florida making orange juice and taking care of citrus groves.
The following year, I went to work at Newton Vineyards in the heart of the Napa Valley, known for Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel.
During this stretch of time, I managed to find Catherine, my future wife, and finalize a new chapter of our lives. My official American career started at Flora Springs Winery in Saint Helena, working with Bordeaux-style wines. At Towmey Cellars (part of the Silver Oak family) and at Matanzas Creek winery, I expanded my viticulture and winemaking skills and furthered my red winemaking and blending abilities: biodynamic vineyard management, sweet wine fermentation, skin contact, Port-style wines, grape sorting, sulfur additions and managing a cellar crew of 15 people.
More recently, I managed the oak barrels and oak alternatives at Beringer Vineyards for Treasury Wine Estates. This was a key position for me to understand how to make better and more consistent quality wines that consumers can enjoy.
I have now been with WineShop At Home since March 2012, keeping our tanks shiny, clean and ready for the next batch of grapes and the next vintage of wines.