MEET OUR PEOPLE
Joseph Wine Works / Winemaker
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN MAKING WINE?
I’ve been making wine for 25 years.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF WINE AND HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WINEMAKER?
My first memory of wine is visiting the Sebastiani Winery in college and trying to learn how to pronounce the grape variety Gewürztraminer. Winemaking just seemed so interesting; there was so much to learn. It was the perfect combination of science, art, and good, hard physical labor. Plus, after college, it seemed like a great way to meet girls.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF MAKING WINE?
It starts in the vineyard – growing perfect fruit. And then not messing it up when you bring it in to the winery. You can make bad wine out of great grapes, but you can't make good wine out of bad grapes.
WHO HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MENTOR IN YOUR CAREER?
Marcello Monticelli, a highly respected winemaker at Gallo. He was so passionate about his trade – he lived wine every day. He always focused on the fundamentals and he had such a strong work ethic. He tasted through wine lots with an exceptional sensory memory. Most important, he understood people. He taught me the skills I needed to have to be a "great" winemaker.
DO YOU HAVE ANY IRRATIONAL FEARS OR SUPERSTITIONS AS THEY RELATE TO YOUR JOB?
I always fear that I will forget to order supplies in time for bottling. Or that I will simply forget that I have an upcoming bottling date and the wines don’t get bottle, or that I just forget I have a bottling date scheduled and I don't get the bottling done on time.
WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I love hiking and dream of hiking the John Muir Trail one day.
Pictured: Chad Joseph and dog, Baxter