Rebecca George, Winemaker

Photo by  Emma K. Morris

I grew up in eastern California’s Mojave Desert and spent much of my adolescence exploring petroglyph-lined canyons and trekking through wildflower-dense landscapes. Though there wasn’t an agricultural presence in the high desert, these adventures instilled in me a lifelong appreciation for both the outdoors and the biological sciences. In short, my time in the Mojave helped shape who I am today and the things I enjoy most.

I attended UC Davis with the intention of following the Bio Science route, but an intro to winemaking course taken during my freshman year changed my path entirely. Just to be sure, I took time off from school to get my hands dirty as a cellar intern during harvest in Napa Valley — that was the moment that really hooked me and I knew I wanted to pursue a degree in Viticulture & Enology.

I spent a full year pursuing winemaking training at The University of Adelaide in Australia. I also travelled to France and had the opportunity to taste some amazing wines, including a barrel sampling at DRC with Aubert de Villaine (at the time, I wasn’t aware that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience). I felt compelled and driven to return to Burgundy. I studied the French language and applied for a fellowship offered by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, and I won. Directly following graduation, I spent a harvest at Domaine Méo-Camuzet in Vosne-Romanée where I learned about the simplcity and beauty of traditional winemaking.

Once back home in California, I continued my winemaking education at highly-regarded properties including Marcassin Vineyard and Williams Selyem. I dabbled in the sparkling wine world, acting as assistant winemaker at Schramsberg for three years, prior to joining the team at Kelly Fleming Winery in 2011. At the end of 2013, I became Kelly’s full-time winemaker. Though I have an immense love for working with Cabernet grapes, my deep-rooted adoration for the more feminine Pinot Noir fruit spurred me to create my own project, Mojave Wines. I’m thankful that my path led me here, and wherever this adventure takes me next!