Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the hummocky hilly morainal topography around Mattawan and Lawton, in Southwest Michigan.
What was the first wine experience you remember?
My Papa was a Concord grower for Welch’s, and every year he would make a batch of wine from his grapes. He was so proud of that wine, and would insist that my parents try it. I remember watching and listening to the bubbles come out of the airlock, and the smell of the fermentation. My first experience with wine as an adult was working crush with David Stocking at Spartan Cellars. From the very beginning, it has always been about the vineyard.
Who introduced you to wine?
Dr. Stanley Howell taught me to understand wine in the way that I do today.
How did you come to the wine industry?
I am a vineyard guy. As a horticulture undergrad at MSU, I was fortunate to be offered a job at the research winery. It was a fabulous chance opportunity that has turned into a career.
What is your favorite thing about Modales Wines?
Having put more of myself into this project than nearly anything else in my life, it is hard to explain just how much I love Modales. Working and collaborating with people that are talented and truly passionate over a long period of time is a unique pleasure.
What is your “wine type?”
I prefer dry white wine in general, but acidity is the common thread in what I like.
How do you enjoy wine? With certain foods? In certain settings?
I would have to put this answer into two categories, work and personal. Collaborating on the winemaking process, and watching a product come into focus is rewarding. When I have a fantastic personal experience with wine, it almost always involves food, and often involves travel.