A native of Southern California, Jim's first wine job was working in the barrel room at Meridian Vineyards, where his budding career was greatly influenced by legendary winemaker Chuck Ortman. After several vintages with Meridian as Senior Lab Technician and Senior Barrel Technician, Jim moved on to become Cellar Master and Consulting Winemaker at Templeton Wine Services (where he first met Pomar Junction CEO, Dana Merrill). From 1999 to 2008, this full-service processing facility afforded Jim the opportunity to work with a wide range of varietals, styles and volumes – from small, high-end lots to several-thousand-case productions.
While making wine for Templeton Wine Services, Jim was also busy working toward a degree in Enology at Cal Poly University. His involvement at Cal Poly eventually led to an invitation to develop and manage the Cal Poly pilot winery, which opened in 2008. As Cellar Master, Winemaker, and Lecturer for the new campus winery, Jim instructed students on procedural operations of all winery equipment, demonstration of lab analysis and interpretation of results. Additionally, Jim co-taught advanced enology classes, operated and repaired all winemaking equipment, and established a new bottling line for the campus winery. After several vintages of hands-on teaching from fruit to bottling, Jim took the position of Winemaker at Pomar Junction in July, 2011.
He lives in Paso Robles with his wife and children.