October 2018 - Please The Palate
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I have been working in the wine industry for over 15 years and one of the first winemakers I met was Kathy Joseph of Fiddlehead Cellars in Sta Rita Hills. Kathy has been an energetic, passionate, driven personality in wine and has always inspired me. I had the privilege to celebrate her 30th anniversary with her and many others when she hosted Fiddlestix 2.0 earlier this summer. There she opened multiple vintages of her wines, including a bottle of her very first wine from 1989. I wrote about it in my column in the Napa Valley Register and share it with you here. The 2018 harvest marks the 30th anniversary of Fiddlehead Cellars, a winery in Santa Ynez Valley owned by winemaker and head fiddle, Kathy Joseph. Thirty years is a significant marker in the California wine industry, especially for Santa Barbara County, where post-Prohibition commercial plantings date only to 1960.
It is also noteworthy that 30 years ago, “There were very few women who owned wineries, very few women winemakers,” Joseph said. In addition, “There were very few people making high-end quality Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc and very few people interested in the viticultural frontiers of Santa Barbara County and the north Willamette Valley.”
But when you meet Kathy Joseph, you understand.