I was born the son of an East Texas moonshiner. I did not grow up in the wine industry, however many of my family members made wines from various fruit. At 12 years old I tasted a bottle of wine that was so different than what my family members were making. That bottle of wine was a burgundy and after tasting it I wanted to become a winemaker.
However, at 12 yrs old I didn’t know a burgundy from a cabernet sauvignon or Merlot. All through school I talked about being a winemaker. My high school coach told me if I wanted to be a winemaker I need to move to California.
After moving to California I want to learn as much as I could about the wine industry. I met many winemakers and growers. However, some would not give me the time of day. My parents taught me that if you want to be successful at anything you have to be persistent and to forget about Gender, Nationality and learn as much as you can. After being around the Wagner Family and learning a great deal about the wine business they suggest I get into the business. With their assistance and sharing information over many years, Ms. Lil and I started Vision Cellars in 1995. We crafted wine in 1996, however, we did not release it because it did not meet our standards.
When my wife, Lil, and I purchased our land in Sonoma County we drafted a variety of clones of Pinot Noir in our vineyard. My “Vision” of becoming a winemaker was a reality. Our first bottling was 1997 Pinot Noir and “Vision Cellars” was born…
Every year I learn something different and new it’s an exciting adventure I look forward to, it’s a “Vision thing”