Six million album covers, a wall of awards, and a full passport—Sony Artisan Andy Katz says it was all an excuse to enjoy good music, drink world-class wine, and explore the world with his young son Jesse in tow. The world works in mysterious ways. Father and son lived for a time in Burgundy, while Andy documented the great wineries of France. Traveling village to village, Jesse was fascinated by the difference the land, or “terroir” had on the taste of the same varietal of grapes. He fell in love with the art and science of winemaking, taking a summer job interning at wineries in Santa Barbara While he went to Business school to figure out his career path. That experience showed him that you did not have to be born into a wine family to be a winemaker and there were degrees that could pave the way for him. He switched schools and completed degrees in enology, viticulture, and a minor in chemistry. To fast-track his apprenticeship, he worked back-to-back harvests in the Southern and Northern hemispheres, and started his own brand, Aperture, while working at Napa’s famed Screaming Eagle in 2009. Since then, he has made the first 100-point wines in the region’s history, made the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold (Selling for $1M to charity) and was named winemaker of the year multiple times. In 2019, Jesse built a winery for Aperture Cellars, where the buildings are shaped like the lens of the camera, as a nod to his father’s craft and the inspiration for his career. Join us for a talk that celebrates life, love, and the art of winemaking.
Andy Katz – Photographer
About the Event
About the Speaker
Jesse grew up traveling the world with his dad, celebrated photographer Andy Katz, tasting handmade pasta in Tuscany, ratatouille in Provence, and—what many will argue is Europe’s most sublime liquid—the rarefied wines of Burgundy, France. It was there in the lavender-ringed vineyards that the art and science of winemaking captured Jesse’s imagination and sparked his lifelong passion. The world took note in 2017 when a bottle of Jesse’s wine called The Setting (a Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend) went for a record-setting $350,000 at the Napa Valley Wine Auction. Recently, another bottle of Jesse’s wine set a new record of $1mm at a charity auction. Jesse developed his winemaking chops at cult winery Screaming Eagle, in his early 20s. Then, at the tender age of 24, he became America’s youngest lead winemaker when he took the helm at Lancaster Estate in Alexander Valley. Earlier, Forbes named Jesse—the first-ever winemaker chosen—to its “30 under 30” list. Recently, Jesse and Andy brought into being a lifelong dream, their jointly owned and operated Aperture Cellars Winery, in the Sonoma County town of Healdsburg. Today, Jesse produces award-winning wines under three labels, Aperture, The Setting, and Devil Proof. Each of these wines has earned 90+ from the world’s leading wine critic, Robert Parker, Jr., and two of them have earned 100.
Venue and Location
The Blackhawk Museum, founded in 1988, consists of five distinct galleries in a facility in Danville, California with a significant collection of classic, rare, and unique automobiles.
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