Jay Somers of J.C. Somers Vintner

Was there a specific wine, moment or place that unlocked your passion?

Jay Somers: It was a 1985 Volnay Champans from D’Angerville.

What did you study in school and what were you doing before you started in the wine industry?

JS: I studied Philosophy at the University of Oregon. I was, and still am, trying to become a Rockstar. 

How has being in the wine industry changed you?

JS: It has made me a much more humble person. I have been making wine for over 30 years and it is not always easy as every vintage is very different. This is also why wine is infinitely interesting. 

What’s your favorite part of being in the wine industry?

JS: The fact that you can be in business but also fully be a creative person. Not all wineries follow this, as some are more like factories, and all about getting product on the market. For myself, and countless other small producers, it is about doing good work and the creative/artistic side is more important than the bottom line. 

Looking back, was there something in your past that led you to wine?

JS: My mother married a really great guy, Darrel Daniels, who sadly passed in 1983. He was very into wine and those time were my first experiences with high quality wine. My uncle Sam Gill was also a big influence. He was a very interesting guy and had lots of cool stuff and wine was one of the things he was into.

Visit Jay’s website to read more about him, his dogs and to order his wines: