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Q&A with a Napa Valley Winemaker
All photos courtesy of Trinchero Napa Valley
“[At a family-owned winery], you can think with your heart—it’s not about meeting a bottom line.” –Mario Monticelli, Napa Valley winemaker
If you're like us, you've always wondered 1) what's it like to live and work in the gorgeous Napa Valley, and 2) what's it like to be the person responsible for creating some of the fabulous wine that comes out of there. We recently had the opportunity to learn both from Mario Monticelli of Trinchero Napa Valley Winery, a beautiful, state-of-the-art winery (and one of the wildly successful Trinchero Family Estates' brands) whose family legacy stretches back to 1948, when two Italian immigrants purchased an abandoned winery to build their own.
What is your job title?
Trinchero Napa Valley winemaker.
What led you to your line of work?
My father came over from Italy at a young age, and always wanted to be a farmer. I grew up driving tractors and picking grapes. I’m fourth generation—my grandfather was a winemaker, my great-grandfather was a winemaker. I just always loved wine and it was a part of the family—that’s really why I became a winemaker. There was a moment when I was 14 that was like an epiphany, enjoying a delicious, oaky, buttery chardonnay at Easter with my family. I knew then that I wanted to go to UC Davis and become a winemaker.
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