For Louis, discovering wine was a life-changing event. “A good friend was determined to get me interested in wine. He put together a tasting of classic French wines: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and a couple of bottles of California Cabernet for contrast. This one tasting did it for me – the switch was flipped, and wine has been my passion ever since.”
What began as regular trips to the library for wine books, and cruising the shelves of wine shops, soon became the focus of a new career. Louis enrolled in the Enology and Viticulture program at South Seattle Community College, and shortly after enrolling, took a sales position for the eastside wine merchant, Fine Wines. For several years, Louis divided his time between school, the wine shop, and industry tastings. “I learned the fundamentals of winemaking, and wine tasting at the same time. I place great value in both, and rely on them equally in the cellar.”
In order to complete his degree, Louis worked an internship with Betz Family in 2010. “This experience shaped my view of winemaking in a very positive way. It set the bar in terms of attention to detail, organization, and most of all, the value of capturing data, and learning from it.”
Early in 2011 Louis went to work for DeLille Cellars, which proved to be an invaluable opportunity. During his time with DeLille, Louis focused on improvements in the lab, cellar, and quality control, eventually earning the title of Enologist. “I worked 3 harvests, bottled 4 vintages, moved into a new facility, and our team doubled production. I learned a great deal about the logistics of winemaking, in a very short period of time.”
Taking the time to taste great wine is a priority for Louis. While he has spent considerable time studying wines from around the globe, the classic regions of France enjoy most of his attention. This has led to him hosting a monthly tasting group focusing on the best of Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the Rhone. Louis can regularly be found hunting for old, rare, and hard to find bottles.
”My favorite part of working in the wine industry is that I can always find inspiration and motivation in my work. There is always more to learn in the cellar and the lab, and there are always new wines to taste.”
”Returning to Betz Family Winery as the Assistant Winemaker is an honor. Although I finished my internship with Betz in 2010, and went to work for DeLille, I'm thrilled to get the chance to be part of the Betz team.”
In June, 2016 Louis was promoted to Winemaker. When he’s not at the winery, Louis spends most of his time with his beautiful wife, Lauren. They share a passion for travel, food, wine, and supporting each other in all they do.
“True excellence is a constant and endless journey, it is not a destination.”
-Max Schubert, Penfolds Winery