It all started for me at a dinner party where the “guest of honor” was the legendary Opus One 1986. That wine opened my eyes to the role of wine as more than just a beverage and I immediately began studying wine history, how it is grown and produced, how it is tasted, what defines quality, and how wine and food complement each other. My thirst for knowledge led to increasingly wine-focused responsibilities at various restaurants and formal Sommelier positions.
My final restaurant role was Head Sommelier at Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa in Destin, FL, a DiRoNA and Wine Spectator award-winning restaurant. During my tenure Seagar’s transformed from a traditional steakhouse experience into a luxury dining atmosphere with heavy emphasis on wine. I curated and managed a wine program consisting of over 1,600 selections for Seagar’s as well as developing wine programs for other outlets within the resort.
During a visit to California wine country that included side trips to investigate educational opportunities I determined that despite the rigorous academic requirements UC Davis should be the next step in my journey. With guidance from the winemaking department’s Staff Advisor at UCD I created a unique pre-Agriculture course of study at my local college where I graduated With Honors. After applying I checked the UCD early admissions website regularly and one evening let out a tremendous yell. My wife still says she couldn’t believe it, but at that moment she knew we were moving to California. I graduated fourth in my class from UC Davis with a double major in Viticulture and Enology and a Plant Biology emphasis.
Since graduating from UCD I have been fortunate enough to be involved in multiple projects working with practically every notable wine grape variety and wine style. Wines I have produced have been highly regarded by industry publications and critics alike including Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, and Wine Enthusiast, among others, as well as being consistently ranked as some of the finest of their types in domestic and international competitions.
As the Winemaker at 2Hawk Vineyard & Winery in Oregon’s Rogue Valley I focus on producing elegant, age-worthy wines that speak of the place where they grow. We only use wild yeast from the vineyard for fermentation and work with our French coopers very closely to source barrels from very specific soil types within the finest French forests. Our goal is to produce wines with intense varietal character and a balance of luxurious texture and delicate richness with length and sophistication.