Meet 2019 Chehalem Harvest Team
Every year, we invite four – six interns to experience an Oregon harvest. They flock from across the country or fly from around the world. And, some…live just down the road. As this is the most critical time of year, we value the hard work and dedication given by our interns. Join us in welcoming our 2019 Chehalem harvest team to the family!
Salt Lake City, Utah
Joey is returning for his fourth harvest at Chehalem. He enjoys the science behind the transformation of grapes into wine and working with his sister, our Winemaker, Katie Santora. “Working with my sister has been a joy for so many reasons: we get along, collaborate well, and communicate effectively. Plus, we have a good time while getting work done!”
- Tell us something about yourself. I have a degree in Chemical Engineering and would love to find a position with a company to design new nuclear reactors. I can also play the mandolin!
- What do you like to listen to while you work? I enjoy a wide range of music; from rock to rap to reggae. Another wonderful aspect of working in the cellar is getting to listen to music every day, so a wide range of music is almost necessary.
- Favorite varietal you have worked with at Chehalem and why? The Mondeuse and Trousseau were fun because we decided to try new techniques during their development. We made the Mondeuse into a pét-nat, a naturally carbonated red wine. For the Trousseau, we took barrels apart, loaded them with destemmed grapes, and closed the barrels to ferment in a closed barrel container.
New York City, New York
Matthew spent the last seven years working in the software industry before deciding to follow one of his passions – wine! His cousin is a friend of our Assistant Winemaker, Jess Spera. Jess invited Matthew to join this year’s harvest team and learn more about winemaking. This is his first harvest!
- What’s something you’d like people to know about you? I make a mean pizza – back at the intern house, we have started a new tradition – Pizza Tuesdays! The key to making a great pizza is not to over sauce it, a lot of people think more sauce makes a better pizza- it’s the opposite! The best pizza is from New York, even the “bad” pizza is great!
- What got you interested in making wine? Food and farming – I’d love to have a farm of some sort and incorporate winemaking.
- What are your plans for growing your career in wine? I’d love to continue to learn about all aspects of the wine industry. This has been an experiment in doing something other than software.
Happy Valley, Oregon
After working in advertising where she traveled to 32 countries and lived in five, Angel decided to return to Oregon to pursue a career in the wine industry. She has worked three harvest seasons in Oregon and South Australia.
- What’s one of your hidden talents? I kill it at Karaoke! I like upbeat songs so people can dance and sing along. Bruno Mars was my go-to for a long time. Then I sang Whitney Houston’s ‘Dance with Somebody’ with a professional Acapella group (The Magnets) after their show at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Since then, Whitney is one of my staples. I’ve been a KJ (Karaoke DJ) at a dive bar in rural Eastern Washington, sang on a cruise ship through Scandinavia during a massive storm, and made appearances singing in Windhoek, Namibia, and Melbourne, Australia as well! YouTube has made it easy and fun to have an impromptu Karaoke session whenever!
- What’s your favorite harvest task & why? Vineyard Sampling because it’s great to have hands-on the winemaking process from fruit to wine.
- What are your plans for growing your career in wine? One day I would like to have my own winery and vineyard that doubles as an environmental education retreat for kids!
Cate has worked in the Oregon wine industry for five years, primarily in the Willamette Valley. Always a fan of Chehalem Wines and our winemaker, Katie Santora, when Cate heard we had an opening, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the team! This will be her ninth harvest in Oregon.
- What’s something you’d like people to know about you? I have a horse named Frog and two rescue dogs, Blu and Sud. I have also been known to burst into song!
- What got you interested in making wine? Growing up on a farm, I have always been interested in agriculture. I went to college at Linfield and was immersed in the wine culture. I fell in love after my first internship!
- What are your plans for growing your career in wine? I hope to stay at Chehalem and grow with this wonderful team!
Germany, Pfalz Region
After working several harvests in Germany, Alex is excited to be part of the 2019 Chehalem team! “I always wanted to work harvest in the Oregon wine industry. A friend worked at Chehalem last season, and it sounded like such a great opportunity, so I applied!”
- What got you interested in making wine? My family owns a vineyard in Germany. I have worked primarily with Riesling, but also with Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. My favorite harvest task is tasting the tanks!
- What is one of your hidden talents? I can cook authentic Italian food! My favorite dish to make is Pasta Carbonara.
- What are your plans for growing your career in wine? I would like to start making my own wine when I return to Germany!
Una has worked as a harvest intern for the past five years, chasing the vintage all over the world. This is her ninth harvest over that span and the first in Oregon. “I saw a posting for the harvest intern position online and applied. As soon as I heard back from Jess, I jumped on a plane to Oregon!”
- What’s something you’d like people to know about you? I worked as a deckhand on a yacht in Italy for a year and sailed the Mediterranean. If I didn’t come to Oregon, I planned to go back to yachting this season.
- What got you interested in making wine? I did my first harvest in New Zealand and saw the opportunity to travel the world doing something I love.
- What are your plans for growing your career in wine? I would like to stay in Oregon and make Pinot!