DESCRIBE YOUR SONOMA VALLEY ROOTS?
I was born in San Francisco (fourth generation) but raised in the hills above Sonoma Valley. We used to call it “the sticks” now we call it Moon Mountain District. My grandparents bought land on Sonoma Mountain and planted a vineyard in the early 1960s. My dad started his farming company in 1979 and together we formed Winery Sixteen 600 in 2007.
WHAT SETS SONOMA VALLEY APART?
There’s a few things that set Sonoma apart. There is always talk about the long history of winemaking here. For me, the only reason that matters is because when California’s early wine pioneers chose to plant some of the State’s first vineyards here, they did so with good reason; its why some of those vineyards still survive. The climate and the soil make Sonoma Valley a great place to be a plant.
Second the incredible diversity of growing conditions we have here, from the peak of Moon Mountain to the shore of the Bay, enables us to grow amazing versions of so many different varieties.
Lastly, and most importantly, we have managed to make wines and create experiences that rival any in the world, all without sacrificing too much of the authenticity that first brought people here.
FAVORITE PLACE ONLY THE LOCALS KNOW?
Hahaha, if I tell you that, then it won’t be a “place that only locals know” anymore…Ok, there are some amazing places hiding in the hills around Sonoma, caves and waterfalls, rock outcrops and deep ravines that make you feel like you’re in a different time.
ONE LESSON YOU CHERISH FROM YOUR PARENT’S GENERATION?
That you can carve out a place for yourself in the world, and build a successful business without losing your idealism or your values.
ONE OF YOUR GUILTY PLEASURES?
Driving on a country road listening to music really loud with all my windows rolled down and my dog sticking his head out one of them.
WHAT ARE YOU INSPIRED BY?
I am most inspired by the place I get to live and work. Likewise, I am inspired by the people who worked the hardest, sacrificed the most, and in some cases, risked their lives for the chance to live and work here too.
FAVORITE WINE (BESIDES YOUR OWN)?
My favorite wine from Sonoma- Kamen Estate Syrah. My favorite wine in the world is Thierry Allemand Cornas Syrah Cuvée Reynard (in case anyone is wondering what get me for Christmas…).
WHAT WOULD YOUR LAST MEAL BE?
Veggies from Kamen’s garden, duck confit from the girl & the fig, wild venison from Moon Mountain District cooked by Nick Demarest at the Harvest Moon, desert from Sweet Scoops followed by a late night snack at a taco truck. That’s one meal right?
FAVORITE HOLIDAY TRADITION?
I come from a pretty untraditional family, my favorite Holiday traditions usually include lighting a Menorah next to a Christmas Tree.
HOPES FOR THE FUTURE?
Wow, big question. Is world peace an acceptable answer?