Like many people in the wine world, it was a restaurant job that got Michael Eddy connected to the combination of food and drink and fermentation. In Michael’s case, however, the first connection was beer.
He was a biology major at Humboldt State University in Northern California, working in a Japanese restaurant at the time.
“I had always been into food, back to when I was a kid,” Michael says. “In college, I started home brewing because I was fascinated with fermentation, and it brought my science together with something I could taste.”
The next step moved Michael forever toward wine. The restaurant’s owners let him taste the wines they sampled for their wine list. The combination of wine’s flavors, technique and possibilities captivated Michael and hooked him on winemaking.
Now, as Director of Winemaking at Louis M. Martini Winery, he’s still fascinated by that mix of science, creativity and taste.
“The complexity of wine was so intriguing to me. It still is,” Michael says. “The idea of navigating all of the steps it takes to bring out different flavors in a wine really appeals to me.”
Michael grew up in Irvine in Southern California, and after earning a bachelor’s degree in biology at Humboldt State, he took his wine fascination to the University of California, Davis and earned a master’s in Food Science, specializing in oenology.
After UCD, he worked as a winemaker at wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma County, then joined the Martini team in 2005 and began working as a key member of the winemaking team with now-retired third generation winemaker Mike Martini. Michael Eddy took over as Director of Winemaking in 2015. He says the connection to Martini’s long, rich history adds even more meaning to something he loves.
“It’s become really important to me to be connected to a tradition and a history and a genuine story,” Michael says. “It adds depth and a sense of purpose, and it makes me feel rooted in something meaningful. It’s an inspiration for me.”
Michael hasn’t given up on beer entirely. Michael and his family grow hops, along with a variety of food on their property in Sonoma. They have olive trees, rows of greens and, of course, a small vineyard.