"It had never occurred to me that people actually spent their days at work making wine."
Photo: Bob McClenahan
At a dinner party while living in Seattle, Erik Goodmanson had a chance meeting with someone who was taking oenology classes at a local college. “It had never occurred to me that people actually spent their days at work making wine,” thought Erik. Soon after, he enrolled in the winemaking program at Napa Valley College, where he immersed himself into the wine industry.
Thus began a wine career for Erik Goodmanson. At Robert Sinskey Vineyards in 2007, under the direction of Vineyard Manager, Debby Zygielbaum, “I experienced first-hand the commitment to sustainable farming throughout the vineyards of Carneros.” A full-time position in the cellar followed, where Erik worked with the winemaking team of Jeff Virnig and Zach Gabbert. Erik remained in the cellar at Sinskey until 2010, when he began his second Bachelors program at UC Davis in Viticulture and Enology.
In 2012, Erik started working at Staglin Family Vineyard as a winemaking intern before he was named Cellarmaster for the harvest of 2013. He was promoted to Staglin’s Assistant Winemaker in 2014. Under Winemaker Fredrik Johansson, “I worked closely with someone whose passion for wine and winemaking was extremely contagious. His mentorship pushed me further in the direction of better and more confident winemaking.”
It’s a direction that has led him to Bouchaine Vineyards. At Bouchaine, Erik is now back to his Carneros roots. “I’ve had the great fortune to work with some of Napa’s best winemakers, and I am excited to continue that tradition by working with Chris Kajani. She is committed to raising the already high bar set at Bouchaine, and I’m looking forward to working alongside and learning from her. Chris has an amazing knowledge of the wines and vineyards of the Carneros, so the chance to be a part of her team at Bouchaine is a huge opportunity for me.”
Erik Goodmanson lives in Napa with his wife Deborah Elliott, their daughter Sydney and their dog Hazel. He spends his free time camping, traveling, running, reading and studying the craft of fellow winemakers and brewers.