Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Stefanie: I was actually born in London, England. My folks moved back to the Bay Area (Pops is from Berkeley, Moms is from the UK) when I was 2, shortly before my brother, Ajayi’s birth–I’ve been in the Bay for the better part of 40 years and definitely call it home.
Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Stefanie: I technically got into winemaking 11 years ago. I found myself completely disillusioned with the work I was doing and the life I was building AND the example I was setting for my son; this existential awakening led me to ask myself what I WANTED my life to look like. I thought long and hard, plumbing the depths and looking for some deep spiritual answer–and then I realized I simply wanted it to look like a glass of wine. I quit my job and took a winemaking internship and that was it. I fell in love and found myself–I found home. Interestingly enough, when I look back on my childhood, one of my first memories was my first taste of Champagne–at the age of three. It was such a poignant moment in my life, even at that time, that I actually remember what I was wearing. In retrospect it seems that I knew my path at that moment and what I was meant to do albeit just a little ahead of my time.
Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Stefanie: I find my inspiration in a number of places…first and foremost in my son, Ajmal’s eyes, I am doing what I love and he needs to see that in order to be fearless and find that gift in and for himself. I am a scientist, an alchemist–and through winemaking I find I am able to honor that and share it with the people around me. Story has it that Jesus of Nazareth’s first miracle was turning water to wine at a wedding; I do that at each harvest, and believe you me, it is a miracle each and every time. It holds me in awe and I’m eternally grateful to be a part of the transmutation each and every time.
Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Stefanie: WOW! (lol) I almost forgot and had to dig in the proverbial crates in order to remember this one…The first piece of vinyl I ever bought, for myself, was none other than Blondie’s Eat to the Beat. I’d almost forgotten about that… Does it count that the first CD I bought was Gang Starr’s Step in the Arena? Can I please keep my street cred? j/k
Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Stefanie: http://www.virgocellars.com/