About the Winemaker

Gretchen Voelcker is always outdoors.  Whether it's riding horses, practicing archery, or hiking, it’s a lifestyle that comes from growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania.  Her passion for wine began in high school when she had the opportunity to live in Europe and visit many famous French wine regions.

After earning a degree in Plant Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz, she moved to Santa Barbara County, where she started as an intern at Rideau Vineyard before becoming the assistant winemaker.  She also worked with Ryan Roark as a vineyard assistant and spent a vintage in the Central Otago region of New Zealand at Burn Cottage as a lab technician.

As winemaker at Piazza Family Wines, Gretchen is responsible for the entire process, from the vineyard to the barrel to the bottle.  With a focus on organic fruit and ingredients, she spends more time in the vineyard than most winemakers.  Her vision is to produce minimal interference wines from her favorite grapes, showcasing the fruit purely and precisely.  Inspired by gifted winemakers and driven by her own independent spirit, Gretchen pays strict attention to every detail and focuses on the craft of making wine the natural way.

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