My interest in wine grew increasingly profound when Sonja and I took a brief honeymoon in Napa and Sonoma in 2013, visiting several producers who, unbeknownst to us at the time, were destined to become some of our lifelong favorites. Shortly thereafter, we began writing a wine blog, with me doing the writing and Sonja taking the pictures. More than one viticultural publication took notice of our work, and soon I found myself working part-time as a wine writer. Today, in addition to the blog, I write for numerous publications about wine, and I’m currently working on a book about the Judgement of Paris in which the Napa Valley’s wines bested top tier French wines in a blind tasting in 1976. 

In 2017, at the behest of a dear friend of mine, Dave Deao, I joined the vinNEBRASKA Foundation and began working with this non-profit, established in 1989, to host our annual wine tasting event. When Dave passed away unexpectedly, we began offering a scholarship in his honor. Today, I’m honored to be the President of the Board of Directors, and I hope that if you haven’t already, you’ll attend our next event. 

In 2021, I founded Gudgel Ranch, a wine label named in homage of my family’s longstanding legacy in my home state of Nebraska. The first vintage of my flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, Bar 25, was named for my grandfather’s brand and sold out almost immediately. To learn more about Gudgel Ranch wines, please visit the Gudgel Ranch web page. 

My writing about wine can be found in Edible Marin & Wine Country, American Winery Guide, Dine Magazine, Food & Spirits Magazine, on Vivino, and elsewhere. Please watch for my book on the Judgement of Paris, focusing on the wineries involved in the famous wine tasting, to be released from The History Press in the spring of 2023, sign up to follow Sonja and my blog ITheeWine, and follow me on Vivino.