Wine Country Personality: Steven Emil Rogstad

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Submitted by Cuvaison Estate Wines

wcPersonality_CuvaisonRogstad_pic1.jpgIf a winemaker's personality could transcend into the wine he begets, Cuvaison wines would reflect something of a "passion-meets-hilarity" note. Winemaker Steven Rogstad is often grinning, as though teetering on the frontier between laughter and inspiration. Disposition aside, Cuvaison, is pleased to have Steve on board, as he consistently produces gracefully balanced, and structured wines.

Born in the cold reaches of North Dakota, Steve enjoyed a quiet adolescence with his family in the nearby small town of Minot. It was a sleepy town for a bright young man, and Rogstad dreamed of becoming like his childhood idol Jacques Cousteau; explorer, ecologist, filmmaker and all-around "ninja" of the 20th century. At the age of 17, and the day after high school graduation, Steve boarded the Empire Builder, and rode across the United States to the University of Washington in Seattle, where he pursued the course of study he loved; Literature and English.

Towards the end of his undergraduate experience, Steve had the opportunity to travel to Paris. Up until that time, he wasn't much of a drinker at all, and certainly didn't have a taste for fine wines. His apartment in Paris was located close to the Buci Marketplace and 6th arrondissement of Paris; hotbeds for culture, food and wine. The Parisian's way of incorporating wine into every facet of life is what really planted the winemaking "bug" in Steve.
wcPersonality_CuvaisonRogstad_pic3.jpgWhen he returned to the states, Rogstad decided to pursue a degree in winemaking and viticulture at UC Davis. His first winemaking internship was at Cakebread Cellars, and then he participated in the first Beaujolais internship program offered through UC Davis. For the internship, Steve returned to France, and helped make wine at over fifty different wineries. He was most impressed by how great wines could be produced in humble conditions, as long as the winemakers were attentive.

While Steve has a lot of nice things to say about Napa Valley, his three favorite aspects include the accessibility of scenic roads to go cycling on, the multitude of fantastic restaurants available, and the culturally interesting offerings of San Francisco. Aside from sleeping in, Steve also enjoys early morning bike rides up Atlas Peak and Mount Veeder, shopping the local farmer's markets with his wife Virginia, evening BBQs with friends, and exercising his Dalmation Pixie in the vineyards. All in all, Steve's a simple fellow that makes damn good wine!

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Great article and yes Steve makes awesome wine.

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