Jasmine Hirsch never believed she’d end up working with her father, David, at Hirsch Vineyards on Sonoma’s remote far coast. Olivier Berrouet didn’t have a second thought when he was offered the job his father, Jean-Claude, had held for more than forty years—making the wine at Château Pétrus in Bordeaux. Working with—or separately from—a famous father may not be the simplest career path—but the sons and daughters in the pages that follow have worked it out brilliantly.
Ethan, meanwhile, sought another path entirely, even as his vinous sensibilities were established early on in the recesses of his father’s cellar (and that of their neighbor, Jim Clendenen). When he was younger, Ethan spent little time in the winery, focusing instead on snowboarding and music (the latter interest instilled by his father, who took him to his first concert, an R.E.M. show at The Forum, when Ethan was 14). He lived in Tahoe for seven years, snowboarding 130 days a year and kayaking, hiking and fishing the rest. Eventually, he says, “I knew I had to move off the hill if I was going to get a career.” He ended up in Sonoma County, where he worked with Greg La Follette at Tandem, in Sebastopol, where he founded his own label, Ethan, before returning to the Central Coast in 2003.
93 ‘08 Qupé Santa Maria Valley Nielson Vineyard Syrah $35 (02/11)
91 ‘09 Qupé Central Coast Syrah $18 (02/11)
This story was featured in W&S Fall 2011.
Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.
This story appears in the print issue of fal 2011.
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