I’m Ray Coursen, winemaker and owner at Elyse Winery in Napa Valley, California. My wife Nancy and I run the winery and these are our children, Elyse and Jake. Before you look around the website and see what we’re up to now, I’d like to tell you how we have gotten this far.
In 1983, when Nancy and I were both working in Cape Cod restaurants, I asked Nancy when she’d be ready to move to California. I had a dream of learning to make wine. “Tomorrow,” she said. I worked the harvest that year at Mount Eden Vineyards in Saratoga, starting at the bottom, picking grapes and digging ditches. After the harvest, we moved to Napa Valley and worked at a B&B. Nancy ran the place and I tended the gardens and planted a vineyard. I then worked at Tonella Vineyard Management, where the owner taught me why you need to prune, trellis, train, and generally coddle grapevines, and the vineyard workers gave me on-the-job-training.
Next I worked at Whitehall Lane Winery. Though I started in the tasting room, Read more »