My story starts in 1972. I was five. My father and mother bought two motels that year on the California central coast; El Patio Motel and The Wayside Motel. I am a native Californian who grew up with birthdays and summer parties at the motel pool. Guests would join in, dad would barbecue, and I would help.
These were the seeds of food, wine, and hospitality.
This childhood led to a college degree in travel, food, and wine with culinary school along the way. These became my compass and my foundation. I was working tasting rooms by day and cooking in beach burger shacks and five-star kitchens at night. I loved it.
This history has shaped the path of Gentleman Farmer, keeping it in a culinary context. The label reads Gentleman Farmer, but calling myself a country gentleman would be a stretch. I am just a sidekick winemaker waking up each morning doing my life’s best work.
It could be said that I am a product of the valley, born and raised in Napa.
My roots here are not only figurative; my family started farming grapes in the Oak Knoll region in the early 1980’s. My father had planted 22 acres on Big Ranch Road. My brother, sister, and I worked after school, weekends and vacations. I learned at an early age vineyard management, trellising, pruning, and of course, harvest.
Today we source grapes from this same area, with the once family home sharing a narrow road with the Boyd Vineyard, where we source some Merlot.
University in Southern California led to a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management. A career in fine dining brought me to San Francisco shortly thereafter.
Wine brought me full circle, back to Yountville and the Napa Valley. I now understand T.S. Elliot, “…to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.”
I am a native of Châteauroux, a small town south of Orleans in France. I spent my childhood surrounded by wine, drinking Champagne at age ten, and listening to my father’s impassioned descriptions of Pommard. My grandmother sold Chassagne-Montrachet and left a clear imprint, sparking my interest in Chardonnay and Burgundy.
I earned my degree in Enology from l’Université de Bourgogne in Dijon.
Harvest internships took me from Languedoc Roussillon to the Loire Valley to the Swan Valley in Australia and I began my winemaking career in California’s Napa Valley.
I have spent years learning the intricacies of California’s terroir and find that intuition is one of my most important assets, relying on it as much as lab analysis.
I find my personal passion for wine, cooking, fine dining, and travel meld perfectly with a winemaker’s lifestyle. They provide the discovery and inspiration that fuels my love of the winemaking craft.
My mother would always celebrate with wine. From classy dinners where I was banished to the kids table to reuniting after years apart, wine has always been a toasted to life. I have since carried the tradition.
I’m your “behind the scenes” gal. As a current resident of Arizona, I know the value of having access to quality wine. I travel when I can, and enjoy the benefits of the virtual world. With a background in psychology and administration, Gentleman Farmer Wines offered me a fitting home.
I understand the importance of embracing the celebratory moments in life, in slowing down time to appreciate the little things, and enjoying the authentic connections— something that fine wine and good food has always done for me. From a psychological stand point, a life well lived is a life enjoyed. So open the good stuff!
It is my honor to contribute to the Gentleman Farmer mission. I invite you to reach out to me if your in need of any assistance.