In 2011, I embarked on an extended backpacking trip through Western Europe. I had dreamed of this journey since I was young, and—having just finished college and with no notion of what came next—I knew this was the time. My trek was uncharted and thus it unfurled with the wind—filled with impromptu adventures, plenty of couch-surfing, and a wealth of unexpected encounters. Like all the best journeys, it shifted the trajectory of my life. It was here, in the Mediterranean climates of France, Spain, and Italy, that I discovered a love for wine and vineyards.
Winemaking is one of the oldest, most revered, and most authentic pursuits. There’s a certain humility in its seasonal nature; it’s one of the few professions left on Earth which still respects and depends on the whimsical weather of the planet. I returned home to the Pacific Northwest deeply changed by what I had seen and I knew that I wanted to pursue winemaking as a vocation.
In 2013, I completed the Winemaking Program at Northwest Wine Academy and I am fortunate to have worked in internship positions at Chateau Ste Michelle, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, and Structure Cellars wineries. I gravitated right away to the chemistry side of winemaking. My first harvest duties revolved around testing juice/wine and sampling grapes in vineyards to bring back to the laboratory for analysis. I brought this experience in larger wineries to a family owned winery, where I developed the full range of skills required in the cellar. I grew from an intern into an assistant winemaker, while also slowly building up resources for my own winemaking journey.
My hands-on experience alongside these exceptional winemakers, as well as the continued journey of my own tasting and traveling, fostered my ability to launch Wandering Wolf Cellars. Inspired by a love of exploration, the name for each wine is drawn from the emotions and passions experienced through traveling. Every wine speaks to a feeling that we’ve all felt before while on the road, but is often hard to define until you discover the very word that captures the experience.
While Wandering Wolf Cellars certainly embodies the spirit of wanderlust, it’s also about appreciating one’s roots and the community that nourishes them here in Washington. Wandering Wolf Cellars is currently based in Shoreline, WA, with grapes sourced from some of the finest vineyards in the Columbia Valley and Yakima Valley regions of Washington State. My story—the adventures I’ve pursued, the lessons I’ve learned, and the people I’ve met along the way—informs every bottle, and I am honored to share that story with you here. Thank you for exploring with me!