MEET OUR PEOPLE
Michael Klouda Wines / Owner & Winemaker
WHERE WERE YOUR BORN AND RAISED?
Ohio. I moved to Lodi in 2009.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF WINE AND HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO GET IN TO THE INDUSTRY?
When I was young, my family visited friends of ours in Canada. They were an Italian family and their house smelled like espresso and red wine.I knew then.
I FARM BECAUSE...
I love the outdoors, I enjoy hard work and to me there is no better way of life. Growing up around farms in Ohio, my passion for agriculture happened at an early age. If I can slowly help to move our industry into a more sustainable direction where we can find the balance between “Big Ag” and respecting the natural process of things, I’m doing what I feel I was meant to do.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF YOUR JOB AS A GROWER AND WINEMAKER?
Our industry changes constantly. Not only is every growing season different but the market is always changing. Ownership of brands and companies change, and the consumers’ taste is always changing. Knowing that as the cost of farming increases, some amazing old vines will be ripped out! That’s a pretty hard change to swallow.
WHO HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MENTOR IN YOUR CAREER? WHY?
There are several: Emiliano Castanon, the old vineyard manager for Phillips Farms; Tony Avalos, our foreman at Phillips Farms for over 30 years, has taught me so much; Kevin Phillips (Michael David Winery and Phillips Farms) has helped me learn the ins and outs of the industry. He’s also allowed me to learn some tough lessons the hard way which I appreciate.
WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I studied art.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL SPOT OR SPOTS IN LODI?
Komachi Sushi, Tin Roof BBQ, Cheese Central, Lodi Skatepark.