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In his college years, John used to walk by Chez Panisse on his way to class. He found himself marveling at the storefront of Kermit Lynch. As a humanities man in the midst of epicurean culture, his mind was easily captivated by wine. Not having grown up with it at the dinner table, but indeed having a preeminent wine historian for a grandpa, John had atavistic urgings to discover wine for himself.

In his pursuit of a wine education, John organized a class at Berkeley on Topics in Wine. Through the course, he compelled winemakers and viticulturists, historians and enologists and sommeliers to come speak on his new passion. 

After graduation, he undertook a demanding winemaking apprenticeship under Kathy Joseph. Four years later, the romance of vendange in the south of France called him. French wine and traditions were beguiling and upon returning home, John found fellow French wine enthusiasts in Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr. With renewed enthusiasm for the possibilities of wine, he joined their effort to make pinot noir without precedent in the Sta. Rita Hills.

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