I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about someone who is very vital to the winemaking process, but doesn’t get as much recognition as others because he is a behind the scenes kind of man. Today I introduce to youTalley Vineyards Cellar Assistant, Connor Bonetti.
He came to us with a wide array of winemaking experience, starting with his 2007 graduation from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with degrees in Agribuisness, Marketing and Wine and Viticulture. Connor then went on to work at various wineries domestically and internationally including Laetitia (Arroyo Grande, CA), Paraiso (Soledad, CA), Saint Clair (Blenheim, NZ), Ravenswood (Sonoma, CA), Kosta Brown (Sebastopol, CA), D’Arenberg (McLaren, AU), Brands Ciara (Coonawarra, AU), Sojourn (Sonoma, CA), and Bien Nacido (Santa Maria, CA). He has been with us at Talley for over two years now.
Now that Connor has been at Talley Vineyards for over two years, it is time you get to know him like we do.
Q: Where are you from?
A: Corral de Tierra in Monterey County
Q: Why did you get in the wine industry?
A: My Dad was an avid wine drinker and my Grandfather made his own wine, so it has always been around me from an early age. I also fell in love with the farming side of winemaking.
Q: What makes you passionate about you role at Talley Vineyards as a Cellar Assistant?
A: I love making great wine, especially Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. My role is very diverse and always changing. I also love the creative aspect of winemaking.
Q: Describe a Typical day at Work:
A: It really depends on the time of year. Harvest is very different than the rest of the year. During harvest, I am processing grapes, barreling down wines, cleaning, pressing whites and punching down fermenters.
The rest of the year we are participating in group tastings, making blends, topping barrels, and adjusting sulfur levels. That is just to name a few tasks. Today I am stacking pallets on the bottling line. Like I said my job is very diverse.
Q: What are two truths and one lie about you?
A: I traveled in a van for two months in New Zealand and lived in severel surf commune/hostels. I drove a donkey cart taxi in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia. I won trivia night at a bar in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. (Note: Think you know which of these is a lie? Add your guess and email address in the comment section. The first reader to guess correctly will win a complimentary copy of Brian Talley's cookbook, Our California Table.)
Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?
A: I am really into History and Anthropology.
Q: What is something you feel is unique or interesting about a place you traveled?
A: I really loved Manchu Picchu. I love places that have historical significance. Ancient Cultures fascinate me.
Q: If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things would pick to have with you?
A: My 6’2’’ surfboard, my 9’ surfboard, and a fishing pole