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April 18, 2018
St. Francis’s Katie Madigan Sees the Science Behind Wine
Katie Madigan is a firm believer in living your passion and as a winemaker at St. Francis, she’s pairing two of hers — science and wine. Her fascination with wine evolved from her parents. They thrived in California wine country and Madigan fondly remembers their frequent day trips to vineyards in the area. "At a young age, they really taught me the value of good wine,” Madigan said. She recalls her parents coming home “so happy” from Fourth of July parties in Napa. But Madigan’s first real foray into wine didn’t come until after college. As a “bonafide science geek,” Madigan studied chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara, but she was uncertain where that path would take her.
“The thought of being locked away at some windowless laboratory kind of scared me,” Madigan said. She soon followed her retired parents to wine country and honed in on a path that allowed her to explore the science behind wine: an internship with St. Francis. Madigan was only 21-years-old at the time, but she’s been with them ever since. She’s now a 16-year wine veteran who genuinely loves what she does and has no plans of stopping any time soon.
“I always say that when it stops being fun and interesting, it’s time for me to move on,” said Madigan. “Of course it’s a business and we have to be successful, but it’s still just really enjoyable to go to work every day.”
That genuine happiness is what makes Madigan so good at what she does. She’s been recognized as Best Woman Winemaker by the International Women’s Wine Competition; and Producer of the Year by the California Zinfandel Championship — twice.
Excerpt taken from: Breakthru Beverage Group