Monday, August 15, 2011

8/15-Micahel Horn talks to Jeff Mangahas & Steve Peck

Jeff Mangahas - Winemaker at Williams Selyem
Jeff Mangahas grew up in Washington State, graduating from the University of Washington in 1993 with a B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Beginning his career as a cancer research scientist in Seattle, Jeff started to explore Washington’s wine region. Eventually, his career took him to New York City, where his interest in wine switched into high gear as he discovered the abundant restaurants and the wines of the world they offered.

During this time, Jeff started visiting the wine regions of France. With his scientific background, he also discovered he had a real passion for learning about the winemaking process as well, and it soon became clear that his hobby should become his career path. Jeff put research science behind him and enrolled in the UC Davis winemaking program, earning his M.S. in Enology in 2003.

After a harvest at Artesa Vineyards and Winery, he went to Dutton-Goldfield Winery to dig into Pinot Noir and cool climate winegrowing. Beginning as enologist in 2002, Jeff was promoted to assistant winemaker in 2003. In 2006 Jeff became Winemaker at Hartford Family Winery specializing in Pinot Noir from cool-climate, estate vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast Appellations, as well as Chardonnays and Zinfandels.

In 2011 Jeff was named Winemaker at Williams Selyem winery in Healdsburg. Jeff is a true student of Pinot Noir and credits the 1996 Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir as an eye-opening wine that helped spark his passion for Pinot Noir. “I have been a huge fan of Williams Selyem for years and am excited to be working with the amazing team here as well as world-class vineyards like Rochioli and Allen.”

Jeff lives with his wife Crystal and daug
hter Mia in Santa Rosa, where he spends his free time cooking, gardening, drinking wine, and enjoying the company of family and friends.

As the red winemaker for J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Steve Peck combines a gifted palate, a passion for viticulture and a comprehensive technical knowledge of winemaking practices.

Born and raised in California, Steve began cultivating his love of viticulture and winemaking as a teenager while traveling to vineyards and working alongside his uncle. A dedicated home winemaker, Steve’s uncle taught him the importance of hands-on attention to detail at every step of the winemaking process. This early exposure to vineyards and winemaking inspired Steve to enroll at the University of California, Davis. While studying chemical engineering and fermentation sciences, Steve put himself through school as part of the team at Joseph Phelps Vineyards. This three-year experience augmented Steve’s academic studies with a practical understanding of premium Napa Valley winemaking methods.

After earning his degree, Steve pursued opportunities in the biotech industry, working for Merck and Co. and Genencor International. Throughout this period, Steve remained dedicated to the art of winemaking, crafting his own red wines nearly every vintage, including several Cabernet Sauvignons made from Paso Robles grapes. Eager to return to a career in winemaking, Steve joined Five Rivers Winery as winemaker in 2001. In addition to his role as winemaker for Five Rivers, Steve was also responsible for producing the red wines for Jekel Vineyards beginning with the 2004 vintage. In these capacities, Steve had the opportunity to work with an extensive array of vineyards in Monterey County, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara County, and was responsible for orchestrating harvest scheduling for dozens of growers. During this period, Steve consistently earned acclaim for his red wines.

In 2007, Steve was appointed winemaker for the full portfolio of J. Lohr red wines including J. Lohr Estates, the J. Lohr Vineyard Series and the J. Lohr CuvĂ©e Series, as well as red wines for Cypress Vineyards and Crosspoint. Working with Senior Vice President of Winemaking Jeff Meier, Steve strives to maintain the flavorful character of each wine by focusing on the natural characteristics embodied in J. Lohr’s estate vineyards. “Steve is inquisitive and intuitive,” says Jeff,” which are fundamental qualities in a superior winemaker. On top of that, he’s a genuinely personable leader with a great technical mind and a real passion for winemaking.”

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