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Lise, Winemaker

When I was a little girl, my parents enjoyed wine with dinner every night, and offered us children small portions. I always preferred the white wine. I didn't develop a taste for red wine until, at age sixteen, I traveled to the Rhône valley with my father, an avid wine collector. We stopped at the house of Chapoutier to buy wine and, during a magnificent four-hour luncheon, I tasted my first Hermitage.

A Love for Wine
From that day on, the Syrahs of France have continued to hold special fascination for me. As a college student, I studied mathematics and computer science at Brown University and later pursued a career in the software industry, moving to the Bay Area. Here in northern California, my deep interest in wine was rekindled. The romance and my love of wine grew greater and greater—soon becoming an absorbing passion.

A Love for Learning
I started by helping friends in their vineyard. A weekend course in viticulture at UC Davis led to an enology course. This led to making a barrel of wine in the garage. Exploratory trips to various wine regions, more courses, more home winemaking, wine tastings, wine seminars—my thirst for wine knowledge was insatiable.

A Love for Winemaking
In 2001 my husband Vincent and I purchased 55 acres in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley, planted with 10 acres of mountainside vineyards. Here I approach winemaking with enthusiasm, spirit, and a drive to succeed. I have completed all the extension courses from UC Davis and Sonoma State University ranging from wine chemistry to pest management to wine marketing. Today I focus my energy and curiosity on making world-class Syrahs at Montemaggiore.

My wine epiphany came when I tasted Hermitage syrahs at the age of 16.Lise


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