Was there a specific wine, moment or place that unlocked your passion?
Grant Coulter: No, my coming to wine didn’t happen in a single moment. There was a tradition of farming in my family, so I had a deep appreciation for the land and the efforts and rewards involved in agriculture.
What did you study in school and what were you doing before you started in the wine industry?
GC: I was undeclared with no idea what I wanted to do. I had an epiphany that wine was a career you could actually pursue. I loved the idea of agriculture, science, and art being tied together. I went to the local Rite Aid and bought some really cheap wine and started trying to understand it. As my interest grew, I switched majors and schools to head to Fresno State and pursue a degree in Viticulture and Enology. When I made the decision to study wine, I was just barely able to buy it, and I feel lucky that I came to it as young as I did.
How has being in the wine industry changed you?
GC: So much. I originally had no idea how much I would love it, but now it is an integral part of life: the farming, winemaking, the people, the business. Renee, the kids and I now live on and farm our own small plot, the Breaker Vineyard. Hundred Suns is our family business and so much of our daily conversations at home revolve around that. Our friends and support circles are largely wine industry folks. It is weaved into our life in every way.
What’s your favorite part of being in the wine industry?
GC: Harvest is my favorite part. You spend the whole year growing and watching the fruit in the vineyard, wondering what it will be like and what it will become. Bringing it in the door at harvest, you are filled with excitement and anxiety. You see the fruit in its final phase, make decisions around it and fermenting. When I taste those wines in cellar and bottle down the road, I always think back to the experience at harvest.
Looking back, was there something in your past that led you to wine?
GC: There was never the test in high school that tells you to be a winemaker. It tells you that you can be a doctor or lawyer instead. My parents loved wine and visiting wine country, and they dragged us around to wineries as kids. I remember going to Napa and Sonoma. We’d go to Frog’s Leap every spring for their Open House, and it started a foundation of thinking of it as a possible path one could take.
Visit the Hundred Suns website to learn more about Grant and to buy his wines:
Right now, they’re offering free shipping on any purchase of 6+ bottles!