Marisa explains the team effort and commitment required to make wine.
Marisa Taylor is the winemaker at Rutherford Hill. This daughter of the soil grew up surrounded by the wine industry in neighboring Sonoma County. Like most people who grow up in Wine Country, wine was a typical fixture at her family's dinner table.
Every harvest Marisa and her team take part in an elaborate juggling act between incoming fruit and available tanks. There is a tight family atmosphere at the winery which includes Marisa's young son Ian, who is a frequent 'helper' at Rutherford Hill.
Marisa began her college career at Santa Rosa Junior College and by the age of 25 was making her own wine, using Pinot Noir from Carneros. She graduated from the University of California in Davis, first with a B.S. in Chemistry and then an M.S. in Food Science-Enology. A self-described "lab rat," Marisa continues to have a passion for the analytical detail needed for monitoring yeast cultures, barrels, fermentation, blending and ultimately, bottling.
After initially honing her skills in the lab at Piper Sonoma and J Winery, she became an enologist at S. Anderson Vineyard in Yountville, where she learned to make Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and sparkling wine. Her natural curiosity led Marisa to work abroad for the harvest of 1999 at the Colognole Winery in Rufina, Italy, where she immersed herself in winemaking and learned to vinify Sangiovese.