Interview with the Viticulturist-Dave Terry

Today we managed to snag a bit of time with Dave Terry, one Laetitia’s newest Viticulturists, to ask a couple questions.  Here’s what we found about the native New Mexican:

Did you have any formal training, if so, where/what did you study?

I completed graduate studies in Viticulture and Enology at CSU-Fresno.  Most of my work involved achieving vine balance with deficit irrigation and mechanical canopy management on Syrah grapevines.  I also graduated from my dad’s school of post hole digging at the age of 11.

Have you worked at any other vineyards besides Laetitia?

I’ve had the opportunity to work at some great vineyards in southern New Mexico, Eastern Washington, and here in California.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my spare time I like to be in the ocean or climb rocks in the desert, hang out with friends, listen to the Howard Stern Show, go to the vineyard, or visit my family in New Mexico.

What is your favorite thing about working in the vineyard?

The solitude.

What do you like about working in the wine industry versus other industries you have worked in?

I like the challenge and unpredictability of working with grapevines.  Also, when I wake up in the morning, I don’t dread going to work.  The viticulture and winemaking process is almost 7,000 years old.  It’s pretty cool to be a part of that tradition, too.

What is Laetitia’s farming philosophy?

We take the scientific approach to farming.  The production of premium wine grapes depends on our ability to approach the vineyard and predict the outcome of all possible viticultural practices.  To do this, we must be plant physiologists, soil scientists, meteorologists, entomologists, and the list goes on and on.  It is also important for us to keep in close contact with Eric, Dave, and the winemaking team throughout the growing season to meet fruit quality parameters.  When we all work together, the wine is just better.

What does it mean to be SIP Certified?

SIP stands for Sustainability in Practice.  It means managing and being aware of the farm in its entirety: the worker, soil fertility, cover crops, wildlife, native plants, irrigation, etc.

How many vineyard acres does Laetitia have?

We have 620 planted acres on the Laetitia Vineyard property and another 750 planted acres at the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard.

What kind of wildlife can be found at Laetitia? 

There are barn owls, great horned owls, rabbits, quail, duck, geese, deer, bobcats, coyotes, snakes, lizards, insects, hawks, gofers, goats, a llama, and apparently several ferrets.

What is your favorite Laetitia/Barnwood/NADIA wine?

I like the Laetitia Syrah on cloudy days and the Laetitia sparkling wine on sunny days.


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