This is part of a series introducing you to interesting people in the wine industry. For many, the journey into wine is not only intriguing but often quite an adventure. These talented individuals are what make the wine industry what it is today so follow this series to meet this group of passionate people who have dedicated their lives to wine.
Was there a specific wine, moment or place that unlocked your passion?
Corey Braunel: For me it was trips to Napa Valley with my wife along with our future business partners and family members Chad and Janet Johnson. There was no place like Napa Valley to capture our imagination of what it would be like to be a vintner and to make this our career path!
What did you study in school and what were you doing before you started in the wine industry?
CB: All of us were somewhat directly involved in the medical field. From sales to nursing we all had landed in healthcare. Chad has a food science degree, Janet has a hospitality management degree, Cindy a BSN in Nursing and I earned a degree in Business Administration. It was our combined skillsets and interests that led us to launching Dusted Valley in 2003. 2019 marks our 17th harvest here in Walla Walla Valley!
How has being in the wine industry changed you?
CB: For one, we’ve met truly amazing people over our journey. Whether it be customers or our close-knit team; the DV Familymeans something. So, over the years I think those relationships have meant something. It’s made me a better business person as well. You learn humility, discipline, focus, determination and perseverance in this industry. There are no freebies and it’s not for the faint of heart. I’ll just say that much. 😁
What’s your favorite part of being in the wine industry?
CB: My favorite thing is to share something that the DV Family created together and see that person smile and light up with the same enthusiasm that I did when we started this journey many years ago now.
Looking back, was there something in your past that led you to wine?
CB: Oh… of course. We’re all farm kids that grew up in Wisconsin. While farming was never easy, it formed a lot about who we would become as adults. Work ethic, determination, drivers… you understand the type. Through the understanding of our past, married with the cool factor that wine growing brings to agriculture and then mixing in our degrees and corporate experiences it forms a pretty fantastic circle. The wine industry has been pretty darn great to our family.