Selby Winery, Healdsburg, California

Susie Selby, Winemaker, Selby Winery, Healdsburg, CA

The Winemaker ~ Susie Selby

The truth is, I love wine. I also love making wine. Those are my best qualifications as the winemaker for Selby Winery.
My goal when I make Selby wines is to focus on the fruit; therefore I favor traditional minimalist principles of winemaking that yield elegant, sophisticated and accessible wines you can enjoy without lengthy cellaring.

If it's possible to do it by hand, I do. I designed our winery to accommodate my handcrafted approach. We pick, ferment, process and even bottle by hand. On most of our lots, we use small, half-ton bins for extended maceration.

We use carefully selected coopers for our French and American oak, as well as insulated stainless steel fermentation and blending tanks. Our press is an extraordinarily gentle Puleo from Italy. This is an important part of the process and we don't take shortcuts.

On the other hand, timing is everything. Knowing when to harvest, how long to age, when to blend, when to bottle and when to release is more than science; it's an art that is based on experience and intuition.

People don't often think of winemaking as a thrill-a-minute, fast-paced business. It is for me. As the winemaker, I'm in the thick of it, at all times. Winemaking is my life. So next time you visit Selby Winery, keep an eye out.

I'll be checking vineyards, taking sugars, arranging harvest, supervising crush, filling a barrel, assembling a blend or running the hand-bottler. Who knows? You might even find me on the forklift. Of course, if I'm lucky, I'll be in the tasting room, raising a glass with you.