Born in Central Oregon, by the time I was 21 I traveled to 21 different countries. This all started when I was 8, my parents took my brother and I to visit our relatives in Northern Italy. That trip consisted of backpacking through 10 countries around Europe and learning the local cuisines and cultures. Wine was always an extension of the meal. I remember I was allowed to taste wine during those long multi-course Italian afternoon meals. Italian wines have always been my go-to besides Pinot.
When I moved to the Willamette Valley, I learned there was a local winegrowing industry in my backyard. I jumped right in by taking a food and wine pairing class at the local University. Luckily I didn’t have to be 21+ to take this class as a school credit. I was 20 at the time and was able to taste the flight of wines, write notes, then take the wines back to the culinary arts kitchen and create recipes. Each class ended with a wonderful plate of food and the same flight of wines to pair and take more notes. I always thought I hated mushrooms until paired with a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir. I was hooked! I enrolled in viticulture classes, soils & plant nutrition, winemaking, as well as wine marketing.
I immediately started working for a local winery and worked my way up learning many aspects of the business. For the past 6 years I have been hosting educational wine experiences, assisting with wine club management and general operations of a small winery in the Dundee Hills specializing in whole-cluster Pinot Noir. I began with Cristom Vineyards in July 2019 and enjoy taking long adventures in our many vineyards on the estate. I always knew I would end up in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA where the winds rush from the pacific into the Willamette Valley. I love sharing the history and geography of this amazing wine country when guests visit the winery from far and near.