One of the best things about taking so many wine classes is you meet a lot of people who love wine. One of the classes Cathy took was Beginning Wine Making and in that class she met a group of people who soon became very good friends. She calls them her Wineaux. And that’s where it all began. Well, at least the shenanigans began….
In 2009, she and a few others were drawn together after seeing each other for many semesters in a row - for one very specific reason – to make wine. They all had registered for the Beginning Winemaking class taught by Sal Godinez. He was a winemaker by trade, with an extensive background in making wine in Napa Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains. His class was the first winemaking class to be taught at Cabrillo and there were some very enthusiastic students signed up. The class was originally designed to accommodate 30 students in the Fall, so that Sal could bring the class up to his winery and teach them HANDS-ON winemaking. The problem was, Cabrillo accidentally over-enrolled the class to 75 students. Sal had to think fast – he was not able to bring everyone up to such a small winery, so he figured he’d teach a “virtual winemaking” class. Great class. But not what these die hards wanted.
Sal helped these 19 eager beginners and connected them with a vineyard so they could buy grapes. They bought 2 tons from a little vineyard in Santa Clara County. A very long story short, they made 4 barrels that year.
The Wineaux formed a wine-making group in 2009. They began by calling themselves the Cabrillo Crushers, because they all met at Cabrillo. They pooled their money and made 4 barrels of wine: Zinfandel, Syrah, Pinot and a Zin-Carignane blend. Then in 2010 they made 14 barrels, including: Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Pinot, Montepulciano, Petite Sirah, and a Cab Franc and Zin blend. They also invested in a bottling line, crusher/destemmer and new barrels.
Two years later, during the Summer of 2011, they entered their 2009 Zinfandel, 2010 Cabernet Franc and 2010 Pinot into the Santa Cruz County Fair amateur competition. They won a DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL for the Zinfandel, a Silver for the Cabernet Franc and a Bronze for the Pinot Noir. There was nothing stopping them now. Except they all have full time jobs that get in the way. They continue to make wine today and remain excellent friends. As a matter of fact, some of them helped paint and assemble the furniture at Cork and Fork.
Through the years Cathy has continued her wine education and currently holds several certifications:
Sonoma State University: Wine Tasting Room Management and Winery Accounting.
Cabrillo College: Wine and Wine Service and World Wine
San Francisco Wine School: Wine Program Management and California Wine Appellation Specialist.
Cathy’s love of wine is contagious and you’ll walk away knowing she’s doing exactly what she was meant to do. And that is to share her love of wine with you. Whether you’re a novice and know nothing about wine or you’re a winemaker, she will always welcome a chat about wine. She feels it’s just as much fun to teach the beginning wine-lover about wine as it is to learn from a pro.
She teaches Wine Marketing and Sales and Wine Tasting Room Management at Cabrillo College and many wine classes at Cork and Fork. Drop by and say hi.