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Talley Vineyards

Eric Johnson, Winemaker
 
October 21, 2016 | Harvest, Production, Wine, Wine Making, Winegrowing | Eric Johnson, Winemaker

Intern Spotlight on Graham Walker

Eric introduces us to one of our harvest interns, Graham Walker -

  • What made you come to Cal Poly to major in Wine & Vit?

I visited Cal Poly for an expo day at the College of Agriculture. I heard from Ag Business and liked it, but when I went to Wine & Vit’s presentation I thought to myself  "All I want in life is to live in SLO, be a head winemaker at a winery in Arroyo Grande with a large farm around it, and drive a mid-to-late 2000's GMC SUV."

  • Why wine?

I grew up with parents and grandparents that have a love for wine, so I've been trying wines with them from a young age.  In high school I was forced to take an art class as a part of California's requirements to graduate.  I wound up with quite a fondness and appreciation for art and being creative. Knowing how difficult and unusual it'd be to pursue  a career in ceramics I sought out a much more mainstream and unoriginal, but creative, profession in the wine industry.

  • How is your internship going and what do you think of the wine industry so far?

My internship has been going phenomenally well thus far. I couldn't be happier with the small bit of experience in the wine industry that  I've been fortunate enough to be a part of here at Talley. I get to wake up every day and go to work in a beautiful place with exceptionally supportive coworkers in a much more favorable climate than I'm used to coming from Los Angeles.

  • Do you think this internship changed you in any way?

Yes, mentally  it has given me a greater appreciation for what my life could potentially look like after I graduate, as well as a good goal to look forward to and work hard for while I am in school. Physically, I now walk with a limp and have a permanent crick in my neck.

  • What is going to be your next step?

I hope to continue to work hard while I'm in school and pursue more opportunities to work harvests in the industry so that I can come out with as much experience and as many valuable relationships as possible.

  • Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?

Assuming that I can get my classes fast enough, hopefully graduated from Cal Poly 5 years from now. And, should my luck hold, I can see myself still working in the wine industry.

  • If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?

The National Anthem, because it's my favorite song.

  • If you were on a deserted island, what three things would you bring?

200 yards of paracord, a multitool with a corkscrew and fire starter on it, and a pallet of 375 ml bottles of Oliver's Chardonnay. I'd have everything I'd need, including 672 bottles for messages once they're empty. (But only if I'm 21 when I'm stuck on this island, of course.)

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