Leading a world class winery's tasting room requires organization, dedication, and experience. Sheri Bowen brings all three to the table, including 20+ years of experience leading hospitality teams in hotels, resorts, and restaurants. We sat down with her to get a behind-the-scenes look at her role and the tasting room as a whole.
How long have you worked at Chateau Montelena and what inspired you to take on the position of Tasting Room Manager?
I joined the Chateau Montelena team in September 2016. My love for the Chateau Montelena brand is what inspired me to move from Southern California to Calistoga. I have been a longtime fan and advocate of this brand and it is a dream come true to now be a part of the team.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Being in hospitality doesn’t really have a typical day. My overall job is to help plan, organize and facilitate the hospitality team to handle the chaos of hundreds of visitors and phone calls per day. The simplicity of my job is that we pop corks, pour wine, and tell stories. The difficulty in the job is adapting to the unexpected and meeting the expectations of all people’s personalities, passions, and cultures. That is where the art of Hospitality comes in.
Have you always had a passion for wine?
Yes! I find wine and our industry fascinating. On the social side, it promotes celebrations, sophistication, and elevates food experiences. On the educational side you have history, farming, science, and artistry which can change dramatically based on what happens each year in the vineyard and marketplace.
Do you have a favorite Montelena vintage or varietal?
I always appreciate the 2011 Napa Valley Chardonnay. It is reminiscent of 30 years ago when I tried Chateau Montelena and fell in love with these classic and elegant wines. Lately, I have been gravitating to the older Estate Cabernet Sauvignons. The 1982, 1991, 2002 and 2005 stand out for me.
What do you enjoy most about leading the Tasting Room?
My team and I get to be the face of this prestigious brand! I also, enjoy the multifaceted role that requires adaptability, time management, event planning, and providing memorable experiences to our guests.
When you aren’t greeting guests and providing wine education, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love traveling with my family. My new love is cruise vacations. Last year we went to the Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera. This year we are planning to visit Alaska and Ensenada, Mexico.
What type of exciting tasting experiences and featured wines can we expect to see in 2019?
Our walk-in tasting is changing from Current Releases to “A Taste of Montelena” which will feature limited release wines like our Petite Sirah, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, and the 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon flagship wine.
Any exciting plans for the San Francisco Tasting Room?
Stay posted for emails and social media updates that will announce special club offerings in the city. We are also pouring some legacy Zinfandel vintages and we will be celebrating our 8th anniversary for the San Francisco Tasting room this year.
Have your own question for Sheri? Ask us on social via our handle @chmontelena.