Let me introduce myself: I’m Laurie Jervis, Noozhawk’s new wine columnist.
I am a California native, moved to Santa Barbara for work in 1989, and now reside in Lompoc. My passions include hiking, reading and food. Oh, and wine.
My columns for Noozhawk will reflect what I best love about wine: how it pairs with food, the steps required to grow grapes and craft wine, the Santa Barbara County wine industry and the people in it.
While I’ve been a wine consumer for at least 30 years, it wasn’t until I moved to Santa Barbara County and started wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley that wine started to consume me.
In 2005, while working as a copy editor at a local newspaper, I pleaded with my then-editor to give me a wine column. He said, “You’re too busy”; I offered to write it on my own time.
He agreed (thanks, Tom!), and that fall, I started writing about winemakers and local wines. But I lacked facts about how wine is made, and realized that without a solid knowledge base, I’d have trouble writing accurately.
One of the winemakers I had interviewed suggested broadening my knowledge with some winemaking classes at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. So I took the first two in the series. And then four more, including the hands-on winemaking class then taught by Norm Yost, owner/winemaker of Lompoc’s Flying Goat Cellars. And I was hooked.
In May 2011, I graduated from Hancock with an AS degree in Enology & Viticulture. During and since Hancock I’ve worked in two local tasting rooms, and managed two small vineyards, pruning, training vines and stalking gophers. I’ve harvested, punched down grapes and pressed off juice into barrels.
Along my journey, I’ve met many winemakers, folks who own or manage vineyards, and people who promote wine as employees of winery tasting rooms. Many of these fine people have become good friends.
Finally, I’m excited to be working once again with my colleagues and friends, Tom Bolton and Bill Macfadyen, two fine editors I first met in 1989. We’ve shared many laughs and some good wine over the years, and I hope we will again.