In the beginning I started as a small child far far away....
Every child dreams of great things, and as a child, we all had that special place to dream those dreams; pillow forts, tree houses, the grandparents. Mine was in the crook of large branches in an old tree, with bright red leaves, where I would climb up to, nestle in, and let the mind wander.
These places are where we, as children, dreamed of being Astronauts, Firemen, Nurses, etc. I was one of those that dreamed of everything. I would read my books, especially my comic books, listening to music, or simply watch nature and dream of distant stars, lands, and people. I would mull over all the things I wanted to do and carry out. Some I have, some I have yet to do, and some are still, but dreams.
Granted, it was not a dream to become a winemaker in that big ol' oak tree, but I have always wanted to do something big. So this 40 something 'kid' finally decided to follow one of those dreams-make wine.
BECOMING A WINEMAKER
After a few months of being unemployed in a time of our country's history when we were not thriving, I had found employment driving passenger buses for Genie Tours and did a lot of wine tours. One particular group had an extensive tour of the vineyards and operations of Seven Hills and Woodward Canyon. Being a wine lover, I never thought about being in the business, until I seen how passionate people in the industry are. It just felt right, like this was something that I needed to do.
Thus, I decided that when I 'grow up', I will be a winemaker. Tired of retail, construction, sales, I thought what better excuse to go back to school then to get a degree in something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and my retirement.
Looking at all the programs, it was quite clear that Walla Walla Community College's Enology and Viticulture Program was clearly the best fit. I traveled from Richland to Walla Walla every day for 2 and 1/2 years, throwing myself into the classes, the projects, and even participated in working outside of the school in private vineyards and taking on any bottling job that came my way.
Graduated in 2012, worked for several operations, even got back into sales for a stretch selling wine ingredients-and at the end of the day, I kept sight of working towards my wine concept, its brand, and began operations in 2014.
SCARLET OAK BARRELS
We have purchased everything as we go, taking our time and utilizing resources to simply make some delicious, affordable, wines of caliber and distinction. After all, if I am not fond of the inventory in the unfortunate situation where I may have to drink it all, the end product is good to consume-right?
So that, in a brief nutshell, is how we started this venture. A strong plan, great education-and still learn something new every day-and determination. Of course, there is that inspirational day-dreaming from the crook of a big Scarlet Oak as well.