30th Anniversary through the eyes of Carmen Hickey

I can remember the day vividly in my mind.  I was wearing a pair of sky blue bell bottoms and I had my nine month old baby boy on my hip.  I walked into the Laetitia Tasting Room for the first time since my husband Dave had come to work at the winery.  The Tasting Room looked clean and fresh as it should be, it was brand new.  I was very nervous, not just because I was engaging in a new adventure, but the owner of the winery, Mr. Andre Lallier-Deutz was at the winery visiting from France.  As I made my way into the press room what I saw next was to make another vivid memory.

There on the floor sat Dave with all kinds of parts and pieces of the second Coquard press in front of him.  Beside him stood the tall and handsome Mr. Lallier-Deutz.  The two of them had their heads together, looking at instructions on how to put the press together.  I was very nervous when I was introduced to him, although  Mr. Lallier-Deutz was quite the gentleman.  He welcomed me and my little baby and was happy that we had come to see what was going on.  I was equally happy to meet him and see this momentous task of those two men putting that press together.  The rest of my story is history… Mr. Selim Zilkha is now the gentlemanly owner of this beautiful winery, my husband Dave is passionately making sparkling wines in that same Coquard press, and my baby boy, Dustin, now 29, also works with his Dad, assisting on that press to make some of California’s finest sparkling wine.

While at that time I had no idea what my future with the winery would hold (if there was to be a future at all), now I can happily say that I have worked for a total of 10 years at Laetitia.  I worked 2 years pouring wine in the tasting room and the last 8 years as the Hospitality and Tasting Room Manger and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It is a true labor of love and each year it gets a little sweeter.  I get to visit with our wonderful guests and share with them the wines that my husband and sons have made.  This winery has been through a lot in the 30 years it has been around, but one thing that never falters is the quality of our wines and the passion we have for this industry.  Happy 30th Laetitia!

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