By Aron Weinkauf, Winemaker & Vineyard Manager
From a young age, farming has been part of my life. Growing up we had a large vegetable garden, a small orchard, horses, chickens, pigs, a dog and cat. When we awoke it was our job to take care of the animals, and if we didn’t have school we had to pull weeds before getting time off to play. At that age I hated pulling weeds, but when one is surrounded by Mother Nature you can’t help but hear her calling and find comfort in her presence.
It was one of those callings that brought me to winemaking. While in college, I spent two semesters abroad in Spain. There, I was introduced to wine for the first time, and I returned to California with a newfound interest in wine and a yearning to reconnect with Mother Nature. I decided to enter the Enology and Viticulture Program at California State University, Fresno. For me it was the perfect balance of agriculture, art, and science. While in school I worked for Ficklin Vineyards, and when I finished my degree I moved to Sonoma to intern at Paul Hobbs Winery. I then moved to the other side of the mountains to continue my evolution as a winegrower in Napa Valley, here at Spottswoode.
So now I find myself with the tremendous fortune of being able to work in a setting that is truly beautiful. At Spottswoode, everyone makes a conscientious effort to care for the land, the vines, and the community. This is our primary goal here—to be deeply aware of the needs of the land, so that throughout the year we are giving the soil, vines, and watersheds what they need to thrive. It may sound whimsical, but I believe in the romanticism, the interconnectedness of all things. I carry it with me, the call of nature, in my heart and in my hands.