Ryan is beloved by his fellow Three Sticks teammates. While his love of dad jokes knows no bounds, we are so fortunate to have his knowledge, palate, acumen, and…okay, fine his sense of humor too. We sat down with Ryan to learn a bit more about this fearless leader – enjoy!
1. What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned from Bob, our Director of Winemaking?
Bob has taught me many great lessons but the one that I’d have to say is the most valuable is his attention to detail and the importance not just of “what” needs to be done but “when” it needs to be done. Winemaking is a long list of hundreds of decisions and if you do things too early or wait until too late it can be just as bad (or worse) than not doing them at all. Furthermore, if you can do each one of those steps just a little bit better, at just the right time, the cumulative effect of those incremental benefits can add up to a truly stunning wine.
2. If you weren’t making wine, what would be your ideal job?
I love to be outdoors and to travel so it would probably have to do with creating fun and interesting travel excursions (that I would go on too, of course!)
3. It’s the middle of harvest and your day to play music in the cellar. What are we listening to?
I have a pretty wide range of music that I like but when I get control of the sound system I like to bring it back to my high school years of 90’s rap.
4. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Hakarl – Fermented Shark. It is definitely an acquired taste… If you can acquire the taste of ammonia…
5. What wine region is at the top of your vacation list?
I’ve spent some great time in the Old World regions in Europe but I’ve never made it down to New Zealand yet. The mixture of Pinot Noir and stunning locations/activities could keep me busy for quite a while I suspect.
6. What’s your craziest harvest or production experience?
This was years ago but an intern put a hard clamp on a keg of juice lees (the solids left over after pulling clean juice off of a tank). Weeks later another intern went around to open the keg and when they couldn’t get the cap off, knocked it off with a hammer. The keg exploded the cap off and it shot a geyser of wine up 25 feet in the air. The juice had been fermenting in the keg for weeks and had been building pressure. It was like a bomb went off and everything was covered in this stinky lees wine explosion.
7. If you’re not drinking Three Sticks, what are you drinking?
Champagne, Peet’s Coffee or Pliny the Elder!