Kathy started Fiddlehead Cellars 27 years ago when there were very few women who owned wineries, very few women winemakers, 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.
Mentored by five exceptional winemakers on the North Coast and armed with graduate studies in Enology and Viticulture from the University of California, Davis, Kathy took a leap of faith and in 1989 and created a winery like none other. She is driven to think outside the box to sell differently, market differently, promote differently and she is hands-on with all facets of the business.
Kathy has been described as having a “well aligned left and right brain and exhibits a rare balance of free-spirited creativity and analytical zest”. She deftly manages the business matters, including tax, compliance, legal and accounting issues while remaining completely engaged as winemaster, marketing maestro, number cruncher, grape herder and artist of the palate. She readily adapted her proud, pre-med, Midwest roots to the international world of wine.
As a boutique, focused winery, the Fiddlehead portfolio embodies Kathy’s passion to make age-worthy wines of texture, elegance and expression of place. Her estate vineyard, Fiddlestix, is a gorgeous piece of Pinot noir paradise and is touted as one of the best in the Sta. Rita Hills. Her Sauvignon blancs are equally expressive of their place and touted as having stylish European grace.
As “Head Fiddle”, Kathy’s dedication incorporates care for the people she works with, care for sustainable farming and winemaking and she is devoted to education, mentoring and enjoying the pleasure of good wine with good company. She believes the love of winemaking must be reflected in every sip, and her infectious spirit lingers with the memorable wines of Fiddlehead.
Fiddlehead produces about 5,000 case of wine annually and are distributed nationally.