Stefania Pepe Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cuore Di...vino 2000
Winery: Stefania Wine
Our winemaking story starts like many have in recent years with the dot-com boom. Only with an unusual twist. Rather than a story of striking it rich, we both got laid off in the dot-com bust. Paul's Mom offered good advice. "Don't worry." she said, "I've worked in High Tech since the 70's and these times always get better. The one thing I always wished is I had enjoyed the time off more and do... Read more
Our winemaking story starts like many have in recent years with the dot-com boom. Only with an unusual twist. Rather than a story of striking it rich, we both got laid off in the dot-com bust. Paul's Mom offered good advice. "Don't worry." she said, "I've worked in High Tech since the 70's and these times always get better. The one thing I always wished is I had enjoyed the time off more and done something I really wanted to." So I contacted UC Davis, and Paul ordered 50 Syrah and Grenache plants from a nursery. Off we went to learn how to grow grapes and make wine. It's something both of us had wanted to try. We figured start small and make sure we could at least keep a grape vine alive. We planted those vines in our yard in San Jose and drove up to Davis on weekends. We watched videos in distant learning program and learned all we could. Paul joined all kinds of grape growers groups and soon people were calling him for advice and asking us if we'd take over their vineyards. We went from 50 plants to acres faster than we could have dreamed. By 2005, we were ready to switch from home winemaking to commercial winemaking for the first time. Wine had always been part of both of our lives. Paul's dad used to trade haircuts at his Barber shop in San Jose for wine from the old Almaden Vineyards. He tells stories of delivering wine from Ridge Vineyards to local restaurants in the 70's. He got to keep one bottle for every case he dropped off. Stefania's dad traveled the world as a colonel in the U.S. Army and ended up in Chile in the 1970's. In addition to advising the Chileans on airstrip building and ammunition manufacturing, the US Embassy asked him to organize wine events for the Chilean winemakers in an effort to encourage them to make wine for the U.S. market. As a little girl, Stefania would travel with him around the country on these trips. The Colonel really wanted to stay in Chile and make wine when his tour of duty was up, but the family did come back to California and didn't stay in Chile. We can still both remember the bottle of Australian Grenache we shared at a small get-together amongst friends. No one wanted the spicy strange brew but us, so everyone let us sit next to each other and finish that bottle off. We still call that our first date. We love to entertain, small sit-down dinners, or large blowout parties and everything in between. Wine, and usually lots of it, is always part of those parties. We also both love to cook, and wine is something we enjoy almost every night with dinner. We thought it was natural to want to make something we both enjoy so much and is so much a part of our lives. Stefania and Paul Romero - Owners, Vineyard Crew & Winemakers Read less
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