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jennifer reichardt

Q. Where are you currently working and in what capacity? Please add any other relevant work history you’d like to share.

A. My family has been in the food industry of the Bay Area since 1901. However, since 2011, I've made myself a home in the wine industry, especially in production-knee deep in grapes, late nights on the forklift-you name it! This year marked my eighth harvest-I have worked six in California- and two abroad, in the Maule Valley in Chile, and Hunter Valley in Australia. This year, I actually started my own label, Raft Wines, to get a very, very small start in making wine.

Q.  What brought you to the wine industry?

A. Growing up in Sonoma County, the wine country was literally at my back door. But it wasn’t until a six-year absence from the county before I found my way back to wine. In the middle-of-nowhere New Zealand, I met a girl who had just completed her first harvest, and she was smitten. She encouraged me enough to look into positions, and the rest is history!

Q.  What is the best piece of advice you have received that you would like to share?

A. Taste and smell everything! You never know what new notes you may discover. I find myself making a mental note of different flowers, the redwood forest floor, or new herbs, hoping to connect the dots when I taste a new wine.

Q.  What are you tasting?

A. Recently, I have been incredibly excited about aged Spanish wines, especially from Rioja. My most inspired tasting recently was a 2006 Viña Gravonia Crianza, with the cheese course at Daniel in New York City. The wine was nutty and rich, with balanced acidity to pair with a variety of cheeses from both the United States and France. In spirits, I am enjoying learning more about Scotch. My father recently went on a trip, and brought back some goodies to share.

Q.  What inspires you?

A. The incredible amount of knowledge there still is it to learn. Making wine, it is humbling being at the beck and call of Mother Nature. I have learned so much from other winemakers in my community and am very grateful for their guidance!

Q.  What’s your guilty pleasure?

A. The strangest thing, but I haven’t been to a ballpark that makes a better hotdog then the one you can find at your local Costco.