Meet the Maker

Michael Webster – Hawk’s Landing Wine Cellars

What is your winemaking style?

This probably sounds cliché, but for me winemaking is a whole process starting out in the vineyard and ending with the consumer. I love walking through the rows of grapes, touching them, smelling their sweetness as they get closer to harvest. I enjoy seeing the hard work we put into the vineyard throughout the growing season come to fruition. I guess my style is having an appreciation for the whole cycle, from grape to consumer. 

Do you have a favorite wine you’ve made?

Yes, my favorite is a Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains. When I smell it, it literally takes me to the Santa Cruz Mountains, with that awesome coast-cedar smell. It’s special when a wine can really take you to the place where it is grown. I can’t wait to share it with others in the tasting room.

In the world of wine, who has influenced you most?

I would have to say my father in law and the owner of our winery, Dave Pechan. I am constantly blown away by his generosity and caring nature, and I admire his ability to persevere and be resilient, two traits you have to possess in this industry. He is quite the entrepreneur also—he’s always thinking of new ideas and new ways to meet our customer needs. I have learned so much from him over the last 10 plus years. 

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

This state is such an amazing place to grow grapes; I get inspiration from all the different micro climates and soils and how they affect the grape varietals. With wine, we are at Mother Nature’s disposal, which is exciting but can also be troublesome and difficult. I like the challenge though, because it inspires me to make the best wines I can. 

What do you admire most about the Lodi wine scene, and why?

I admire how the Lodi wineries all come together like a family. Since we opened our new tasting room in downtown, the other wineries around us have been so helpful. I know that if I have any questions with winemaking, there is someone in Lodi who would be happy to help. 

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