Melissa McDonald- Enologist
" The Kautz Family have created an inclusive and welcoming enviroment that is built on the foundation of trust and respect for its employees. Every day working at Bear Creek Winery is like a day spent with family." - Melissa
While in search of a career that blended both her interest in creativity and science, Melissa stumbled upon and decided to pursue the art of winemaking on a whim. She went on to receive a degree in Wine and Viticulture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she learned the basics of winemaking and quickly developed a passion for the industry.
Melissa obtained her start in production from Foley Estates in the Santa Rita Hills in 2018. She fondly remembers filling (and then overfilling) her first barrel and the feeling of sticking her hands in a bin of cool freshly-harvested clusters in the crisp early morning. She went on to spend a couple harvests at JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles, before finding her new home at Bear Creek.
When she’s not at the winery, Melissa enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.