Jason Domanico, Winemaker
Growing up in an Italian family, wine was always around. Dinners, special occasions, it was part of the experience; in fact Champagne always put a smile on my moms face. After moving to Yakima in 1992 to work as an accountant, I met Jill and we experienced the Washington wine scene together. In 1994 at the Yakima Valley Spring Barrel Tasting, Mr. Williams of Kiona, took us to the barrel room and walked us though a few wines. The one that sticks out in my mind was a Chardonnay. As we moved the wine around our mouth Mr. Williams said "do you taste pear"... I did! I was fascinated and have been hooked since. Over the years Jill and I have tasted many wines from all over the world, visited many wineries and it seemed like most of our vacations revolved around going to wine regions. Then in 2003 I met a guy at Costco, as I was picking up the last 2 bottles of 2000 Pavie. He asked about the wine and as we chatted (yea I gave him one of them) he mentioned he was a winemaker. The conversation turned from him asking me questions about the Bordeaux to me asking about winemaking. The next thing I knew I was helping out and then all of a sudden I had 1100 lbs of Cabernet. Since then we have made a number of wines and I have volunteered at many wineries doing everything from sorting grapes, to cleaning barrels, to working the bottling line. It is all hard work, but some of the most rewarding I have been involved with. Every fall brings a new excitement and as the grapes start to ripen, new challenges and of course new surprises.
Growing up in Eastern Washington, Jill has always been fond of Washington fruit and wines. However, it wasn't until living in Yakima that she was exposed to and truly began to appreciate the entire art and process of wine making. Ironically, she and Jason's second date was attending the '94 Yakima Barrel tasting. She recalls thinking some day she would love to be in the wine industry; but she never dreamed that day would come when she and Jason would begin their own winery. While Jill will always retain her position as the stem and sorting queen at the crusher she is also using her expertise in the production, distribution and marketing of Domanico Cellars (of course, when she's not trying to keep Anna out of climbing in the bins of grapes!).
Jill's favorite quote from an avid wine drinker - "there are 4 types of wines - red, white, yum or yuck ". She likes to pass this along to anyone who thinks they don't know how to "appreciate" good wine.
|Winemaker: Jason Domanico|