Wine and Food Festival, San Diego Bay, Chue HerChue

Production Manager
Oak Ridge Winery

Chue Her has worked at Oak Ridge Winery for almost ten years now where he started as Director of Winemaking and is currently the Production Manager.

"My work here at ORW gets me out of bed every morning," he says. "I wonder what different style of wine I could make for a particular market, or think about projects that are yet to start or finish. I am always eager to see what I can do better today than I did yesterday."

Her was born in Laos in 1966. When the Vietnam war came to an end in 1975, his family migrated first to Thailand, and then to the United States in 1979. As far as we know, he’s the only Laotian-born head of winemaking in the United States.

Since Her was the oldest child in the family, his parents taught him how to cook for the family at an early age. This skill, he says, is what started him down the path that eventually led to winemaking. "Cooking meals is like making and blending wine," Her says. "The only differences are the materials and ingredients." After high school, Her attended California State University, Stanislaus, and then the University of California at Davis. That education gave him a strong background in enology, chemistry, physics, and biology.

While in college, Her found himself a position as a harvest laboratory technician at the Wine Group in Ripon, California. "Once I started working there, I just knew this was the career I wanted to pursue.” Before Oak Ridge Winery, in addition to the Wine Group, Chue worked at Bear Creek Winery, Cacciatore Fine Wines, ASV Wines, and Opus One.

Now in his 22nd year working in the wine business, Her continues to seek out new challenges. "Making wine and running a winery are the best things that ever happened to me. I am just glad that I have opportunities every day to make great wine."