We are thrilled to welcome winemaker Matt Taylor to our team! He took over the vinification reins from Ehren Jordan with the 2016 vintage. Matt's impressive career highlights a knowledge of winemaking and vineyards that are the perfect fit with the 32 Winds passion for creating only the finest of wines. Being in his family's third generation from Sonoma County, Matt’s roots run deep in wine country. However his passion for wine has taken him to the far corners of the world and back.
The inspiration. Matt gleaned his first perceptions of "a winemaker's life" from Chris Bilbro of Marietta Cellars. The father of Matt’s best friend, Bilbro shared his passions – for wine and food, fishing and abalone diving, wild boar and mushroom hunting, kayaking and surfing, and for a glass of his personal artistry at the end of the day. Perhaps most of all, Matt registered the man's zeal for the moment, and his ever present smile.
The Journey. As an undergraduate at the University of Washington, Matt majored in Language Arts: Spanish and French. While living in Spain (Cadiz) for almost 2 years, he managed to travel throughout Europe and Africa. His brother and business partner, Sean, often accompanied him. He did cellar work for a sherry producer in Jerez. He learned of biodynamic farming during an ardent, all night discussion with a relative in Switzerland. In Burgundy, the history, the land and the wine of Le Montrachet opened suddenly for Matt during a tasting at Domaine Leflaive, where it was explained "one can't have terroir without women and men of terroir."
Upon returning to the US, Matt spent several quiet months exploring Western rivers. While attaining his Master Fly Fisherman accreditation, he set his sights for the future. Back among the vines of his home territory in the Russian River Valley, Matt worked as Assistant Winemaker to Rod Berglund of Joseph Swan Vineyards – and applied to graduate school.
Serious Study. In 2004 Matt graduated with top grades from Fresno State. He took a post-baccalaureate degree in Viticulture & Enology, with emphasis in enology and a minor in chemistry. During that time, Matt became frustrated with the bias for chemical remediation of vineyard and winery issues – with fervent conviction that soil health alone could best ensure vineyard productivity.
More adventure. Determined to develop the broadest possible perspective on the wine industry, Matt took a job in wine sales following graduation, teaching about the wines he represented, and saving his pay for travel throughout Burgundy, the Rhône Valley, Alsace, and Champagne after a harvest internship with the Seysses family of Domaine Dujac. When he returned from France the last time he could wait no longer; he set out to find the vineyard-to-bottle winery position of his dreams.
It all comes together. In the Napa Valley, Matt became Winegrower and Winemaker for the Biodynamic producers Bart & Daphne Araujo. His broad experiences with Araujo Estate Wines include a harvest internship in Mendoza and Cafayate, Argentina, another in Hawke's Bay New Zealand, as well as return visits to top Estates of Bordeaux. All of Matt's work with spade and pruning shears, all his exploration of vineyards across the world, each evolving intuition regarding connection between celestial rhythms and life on earth are the backbone of his respect and passion that shows through in every bottle.
Matt resides in Healdsburg with his wife Mikaela, their daughters Marley & Naia and son Devon.
Founding Winemaker - Ehren Jordan
Ehren has followed a maze of seemingly haphazard adventures from his roots in Pennsylvania to his stint as a wine store stock boy in Washington DC, to the slopes and fine restaurants of Aspen, to the vineyards of France's Rhône Valley, only to find his home and calling in St Helena, California. Throughout the many segments of his travel and work, he met several key people who helped shaped his career and focus - and especially helped provide experiences that would feed his thirst for crafting fine wines that have garnered much recognition throughout the industry. His journey has given him the all encompassing skills of Viticulturist, Winemaker and Winery GM, a enviable trifecta of accomplishment. His resumé includes founding Failla Wines, winemaking for Turley Wine cellars, and time at Marcassin, Joseph Phelps Vineyards and Les Ruchets Wines. Ehren’s handprint will always remain with 32 Winds. As founding winemaker, he created the foundation for our world-class wines. He is an icon in the industry and we are forever grateful for our time working with him.