After growing up in Oregon with wine aficionado parents, K’Sondra took a summer job in a local winery’s tasting room. She discovered her true calling the day she topped off barrels in the winery’s barrel room.
“I’ve never had more fun,” she said. “Climbing barrels with a hose full of wine isn’t something you get to do every day.” Fermentation classes and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and microbiology soon followed. After graduating, she landed an internship working at William Hill Estate Winery, where she absorbed every drop of winemaking she could.
Her mentor, another woman working at William Hill, inspired her to take an internship in New Zealand and learn a different type of winemaking, which led to more internships in California and Australia. From there, she joined Talbott Vineyards as an enologist. Working with Talbott Vineyards winemaker David Coventry producing world-acclaimed wines has inspired her to become a winemaker.
She continues to devour every chance to learn winemaking. “I get to do things most enologists don’t get to do,” she said, which includes leading the lab and working in the cellar. The science side of winemaking is dominated by women and the physical side of the cellar by men. “I’m trying really hard to push against that.,” she said.
Working towards becoming a winemaker, K’Sondra keeps her network buzzing with other women winemakers on the Central Coast. This group of winemakers provides a strong support system. When she talks about working toward becoming a winemaker one day, they encourage her to go for it and to know every woman in wine has her back.