Joe Nielsen, Director of Winemaking at Ram’s Gate Winery, recently announced the promotion of Rachel Bordes from cellar technician to enologist.
In her new role, Bordes will work closely with Nielsen and Assistant Winemaker Orrin Oles to oversee all wine production across the lab, cellar and vineyards.
“When Rachel joined us for harvest as an intern in July 2020, she quickly proved to be a rockstar,” says Nielsen. “We greatly value her contributions to the winery. Her hard work, great attitude and incredible wine knowledge make her an essential member of the Ram’s Gate winemaking team.”
Bordes’ scientific background with a B.S. in Wine and Viticulture from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo lends itself to the extensive lab work that her new role will require.
With harvest just around the corner, Bordes will spend the majority of her time in the vineyard and the lab tracking the sugar and acid levels of the grapes to determine the optimal time to pick the 2021 vintage. Bordes originally joined the Ram’s Gate team in 2020 as a harvest intern before quickly rising to cellar technician.
Originally from New Orleans, Bordes’ family moved to Sausalito, Calif. in 2012 where she attended high school. During this time, her parents bought a 27-acre vineyard in the Sonoma Coast AVA and contracted fruit to several esteemed producers in the region. It is through this venture that Bordes first fell in love with winemaking and chose to pursue a degree in viticulture and enology at Cal Poly in 2016. After completing a harvest internship at Tolosa Winery in 2019, Bordes went on to complete her senior research project on the effect of shade cloth on the sensory aspect of wine before graduating in 2020.
“I fell in love with winemaking and enology because of the constant learning experience and growth,” says Bordes. “There is something very satisfying about creating something with my hands that ultimately, I will share with those around me.”
When Bordes is not in the cellar, she is likely off running, biking, swimming and hiking in Sonoma.