When wine mysteriously turns brown in the movie Bottle Shock, the puzzled winemakers visit an expert at the University of California at Davis, who rapidly solves their problem.
The university’s department of Viticulture and Enology (V&E) is one of the foremost in the world for providing practical information to growers and vintners.
So it makes sense that the city would have its own winery.
Since it opened in 2004 in the city of Davis – the Rominger West Winery has served students and professional alike – whether on weekdays or weekends.
But next week Rominger West closes shop.
“I’ll find somewhere new,” winemaker Mark West told me, taking time off from demonstrating how he blends wine to a group of visitors. He did not appear worried.
I sampled highlights of what he produces – and favored the last – a blend of Syrah, Malbec, and Tannat (a grape that is apparently favored now in Uruguay). This wine is called Chapman Hill – after one of three local vineyards from where Mark gets his grapes.
Jennifer – Jen – Macway served us wine and suggested buying a souvenir metal flask bearing the winery logo. After I did, she filled this with Chapman Hill wine from a barrel.
And after the winery closes?
“I’m a psychology major, so will work in market research in San Francisco. In pharmaceuticals.”
Pharmaceuticals! Ah, where lurks the undying love for working with wine, regardless of challenge? But just as she loves wine, Jen also loves psychology, and marketing. The result is that there are still ample career opportunities to choose from.
Good to luck to Mark, Jen, and to Rominger West. My guess is that the next incarnation is only a few months away. If the public isn’t yet tuned into the nuances of the Tannat grape, it’s only a matter of time. And not much time. This is, after all, California.