Born and raised in Long Island, I have always enjoyed the science and artistry involved in winemaking and combine both passions in my work. I first connected with the Finger Lakes region when I attended Hobart and William Smith then worked at Swedish Hill Winery. After graduating from HWS I received my Masters in Science with a focus on wine microbiology at Washington State University. I continued my wine studies, interning at Chateau Siran in Bordeaux France, Sheldrake Point Winery here in the Finger Lakes and Watershed Winery in Margaret River Australia. After traveling the world, I realized the Finger Lakes community had made a deep impression on me and I decided this is where I wanted to stay. I joined the Three Brothers Wineries team just two weeks before the 2018 harvest and have never looked back!
Why did you choose to make wine here?
Aside from a passion for cool climate wines, the Finger Lakes region is truly unique in its sense of community. I’ve worked in WA, Australia, and France and nothing I have personally experienced comes close to the comradery of this region. Everyone wants to help everyone succeed and the mentality is if we all do well, and all make wonderful wines then the Finger Lakes region will be elevated and globally recognized the way it deserves to be.
How would you describe your winemaking style?
I think my style could be considered “minimal intervention but not afraid to tweak.” I like to think I approach wine with a solid foundation of biochemistry and microbiology, I know the rules, so I feel comfortable breaking them. My goal is always to get the vineyard to do the heavy lifting and then not get in the way. However, there are years, this last one in particular, that require more from the cellar.
What wine do you love to drink… and your favorite to make?
If I had to choose a desert island wine I’d probably say champagne, but I love to drink all types of wine, especially non-FLX. I say that because it is a rarity that I do drink wine from outside the region, not because I don’t love FLX wine! My favorite to make is Riesling. There is no limit to the creativity of Riesling.
Music choice for harvest vs bottling?
When you’re thick in the middle of harvest I like to go with music that makes you want to have a dance party. Prince, MJ, and Bowie are the go-to options.
For bottling A Tribe Called Quest and Silk Sonic is more the vibe.
What advice do you have for aspiring winemakers?
Travel and gain as many different experiences and styles of winemaking as you can before you choose a region to settle in!
Three Brothers Wineries, 623 Lerch Road, Geneva, 315-585-4432, 3brotherswinery.com
The Edible Finger Lakes Meet Your (Wine) Maker column is developed in partnership with the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance whose mission is to increase the visibility and reputation of the Finger Lakes AVA, its wines, and wineries.