Personally escorted by Simi Winery's associate winemaker Susan Lueker
Simi Associate Winemaker Susan Lueker
Simi Associate Winemaker Susan LuekerSUSAN LUEKER
: Simi Associate Winemaker - Susan Lueker
always wanted to be a scientist, envisioning that she
would ultimately "end up like Jane Goodall, observing chimpanzees in their isolated natural habitat."But her
years at the University of Missouri studying chemistry and working in labs changed her
mind.During her senior year Susan switched majors, graduated with a minor in chemistry and a major in medical child development, then went on to graduate school while working at John Hopkins as a play therapist.
Having grown up in a farming family, Susan thought she
wanted a career in anything but agriculture.However, her work at John Hopkins was not fulfilling.
After much soul searching and the counsel of her
transferred to UC Davis intending to pursue either a medical or enology degree.
first enology class, visit to the vineyards and internship Susan
wanted to be a winemaker."I loved the vineyard, the interaction with people, nature and science," says Susan
.Starting at Hacienda Winery, a 20,000 case family winery in the Sonoma Valley, gave Susan
an unequalled hands-on experience."Working at a small winery you get to do everything from vineyard thinning, sampling, experimentation, pump maintenance, winemaking, problem solving, sensory analysis, blending and bottling line production."Susan
took that experience on to Kendall Jackson and then worked for eight years at Dry Creek Vineyard where she
developed in intense love of Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc.In the fall of 2000, attracted by Simi's reputation as an industry leader in winemaking technology, Susan joined the team at Simi.
oversees the lab, experimental programs, staff education and the birthing process of new production wines.