Winemaker Joe Norman
Getting to know the winemaker is an important part of experiencing a wine – much like knowing the story behind a song or understanding the inspiration behind a painting.Here is a brief insight into the background and experience of Joe Norman, our chief winemaker since 2013.
Q: Why did you become a winemaker?
A: I purposely enrolled at UC Davis as an undergraduate to obtain a degree in
winemaking. I have worked in the wine industry since I graduated in 1976.
Q: How did you get into the wine business?
A: Exiting college, I began my career in winemaking with out of state wineries.
Like most beginning winemakers, I worked for several wineries and step-by-
step gained experience in varied background in wine production.
Q: What has been the highlight of your wine making career?
A: Highlights are for looking back. I have enjoyed my involvement in making
fine table wines, bubbly, brandy and vineyard designate wines.
Q: What is the hardest part of your job?
A: The most difficult part of the job is to decide how much more attention the
wine needs and when the wine can stand on its own.
Q: What’s the most exciting thing about Lava Cap Winery’s future?
A: It’s a joy and a challenge to look out at the mature vineyards of Lava Cap and
know there are great flavors and aromas hanging out there every vintage.
Q: What is your beverage of choice when you are not drinking your own wine?
A: My kids order me root beet but I actually enjoy the discovery of wine styles
and tradition from all over the globe.
Q: Do you have a favorite varietal?
A: Cabernet Sauvignon has always been my favorite but I find the Rhone
varietals as very varied and intriguing.
Q: Coming from Napa Valley, what has surprised you the most about the
A: Napa Valley has a history for fine California wines. But the same passion for
grape growing and fine winemaking abounds in the foothills.
View Joe’s Bio: lavacap.com/aboutus