It Takes a Wine Village to make every bottle of inspired J, especially during harvest. We are so appreciative of our adoring J Fans that we want to share the hard-working J Harvest Team Members that bring your favorite bottles of J to your table for sharing with family and friends.
J Team Member: Melissa
Position at J: Winemaker
Years working on the J Team: 1 Year & 3 Months
Favorite J Wine:
J Vineyards Robert Thomas Pinot Noir
Collaboration with Melissa’s team in making the best wine possible keeps Melissa inspired at J Vineyards & Winery, Melissa says, “my hope is that the next vintage will yield the best wine I’ve ever made. I also feel incredibly blessed to be a part of a great team as winemaking is so collaborative, that collaboration keeps me very inspired.”
Melissa is very team-centric, easily approachable, brief and to the point, and quite a mellow soul, Melissa says, “during harvest I thrive in a chaotic stress driven environment that allows me to be very decisive. I value everyone on my winemaking team, so much so that I give them thoughtful challenges, especially during harvest; this provides them the ability to be great decision makers as well so our team thrives harmoniously during harvest.”
Melissa values her career choice as a winemaker as agriculture has played an important role in her life from growing up in Michigan and having grandparents who were farmers in Minnesota, she became clearly aware of their dedication to the land. Melissa says, “aside from being able to wear jeans to work every day (which is a big plus!)…winemaking is a career choice that combines science, art, and agriculture. It is rewarding to make a product that is received with joy, and acknowledges a quality to life. It’s an incredible opportunity as a winemaker to be able to produce sparkling wine, as well as high end Pinot noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay at J Vineyards & Winery.”
Melissa not only values her career choice as a winemaker, she values her greatest joy of all, being a mother, Melissa says, “as a single-mom of a 9-month old, my life away from work is all about my daughter. I grew up in a very family-oriented environment, and there is no better enjoyment then spending time with my family, my beautiful daughter and my loving dog Scout playing at the beach or reading my daughter’s favorite book to her, Ten Little Lady Bugs.”
Melissa loves and thrives for the stress of harvest. “I love that moment, when the vintage is unfolding, when you realize what sort of harvest it is going to be, you have an “aha” moment. I look forward to the unknown with all the twists and turns that harvest brings, and this harvest I look forward to creating exceptional J wines. I am especially looking forward to blending some of the 2012 Pinot Noir blends. Mmm…! The weather this winter and spring has put us on deck for a spectacular vintage. We’ve had a great summer season as well. Fingers crossed…this one will be memorable, in a good way!”
Melissa’s passion as the J Winemaker shows in her approach as she uniquely connects with people, whether it is connecting with her J team members, consumers, growers, media, trade, or her peers in the winemaking world. Melissa has a great appreciation for what Mother Nature has to offer and loves to share her wealth of knowledge through her skillful winemaking. Her strong family values are very widespread with everyone she connects with and has a genuine inspiration when conveying the warmth and admiration she has for her family members at home or work. For those who know Melissa’s warmth, kindness, and nurturing regards to Mother Nature’s deep roots, knows the timeless personification Melissa exemplifies with everyone she touches. We adore you Melissa and are so fortunate to be surrounded by your continuous inspiration!