An interview with George-Anne Robertson of Yellowhawk Resort and Sparkling House by Beck Barrouk

I had the pleasure to interview George-Anne Robertson about her experience in our wine industry. She currently works at Yellowhawk Resort and Sparkling House as the Wine Maker. As I was considering entering the Enology and Viticulture program nearly two years ago, Tim Donahue suggested I contact George-Anne, because of my insecurity about starting this new career at my age. She was so reassuring and beamed with excitement, even took the time to show me College Cellars. I will be forever grateful!

Beck Barrouk: How did you get into wine?

George-Anne Robertson: I loved travel and history; my first wine seminars took place when I studied Restaurant and Hotel Management in 1987! I became re-acquainted as a student of wine in 2010 and took a position in Sun Valley Idaho as a director of wine for a restaurant.

BB: Is there someone in the EV world that you admire, including fellow EV alums?

GR: I admire Arianna Occhipinti from Sicily, and of course some of the people from my class Kelsey Itamari and Robert Gomez, following their own winemaking paths.

BB: What’s special to you about working in the wine industry?

GR: I like the challenge of creating a great product that satisfies my artistic side and the challenge of profitability that satisfies my business side. It’s special having these two characteristics blended together.  That works for me!

BB: What is your favorite part of your job?

GR: Working on a wine with taste goals in mind and achieving those goals.

BB: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in the industry?

GR: I’ve been very lucky and have had great support. Without this support I would not have the strength or confidence to grow and keep learning.

BB: What do you think differentiates and excites you about Washington wine?

GR: We don’t have many rules here and the sky is the limit. I’m doing a Traditional Method sparkling white with Semillon and Cabernet Franc, that’s exciting to me!

BB: How do you foresee climate change or social issues affecting the local industry in the next few years?

GR: For success we must continue to learn and adapt to climate and social changes.

BB: What are some up-and-coming trends in wine that you’re following?

GR: Sparkling.

BB: What advice can you share with future EV graduates?

GR: Make connections in the Wine Industry with everyone you can and be gracious when you do.

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