CSU Northridge BS Microbiology
CSU Fresno MS Enology
2012 to present Owner/Winemaker Felten Cellars
2005 to 2012 General Manager/Winemaker Norman Vineyards
1995 to 2005 Director of Winemaking EOS Estate Winery
1991 to 1994 Production Manager Rutherford Hill Winery
I made my first batch of wine in 1973 when my then-fiancee Mary-Ellen gave me a home winemaking kit for Christmas! I was taking a geography class 'The Vine in California' in 1976 when the teacher set us up to meet the winemaker at Valley of the Moon winery in Sonoma on our honeymoon. I was so impressed that he would come out on a Saturday and let us taste his barrel samples, that I decided to join the industry, and always strove to take care of customers the same way.
While going to college in Fresno and for several years after, I worked in large Central Valley wineries and learned the logistics and efficiency of running a large operation. In Sonoma and Napa I took that training to improve smaller, family-run wineries, and became involved in farming their incredible fruit.
In all of my endeavors, I have dedicated myself to the craft, emphasizing meticulous attention to detail. Winemaking happens in the cellar, and the key to success is long hours and personal involvement in training and operation. My employees understood the process, and could monitor the wines when I was out showing them off on the road!
Over the years, I developed a style in which the finish of the wine was just as important as the aroma. Thus, 'Smooth Matters' is not only our motto, but our marching orders!
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