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Clos Pegase appoints new winemaker

Submitted By: Lewis Perdue, March 31, 2010

Experienced Napa Valley winemaker will assume the production responsibilities for popular Calistoga winery

CALISTOGA, Calif. (March 29, 2010) – Clos Pegase, the popular, art-filled Calistoga winery, has appointed Richard Sowalsky as its winemaker. With extensive winemaking experience and a diverse educational background that includes enology, medicine and the culinary arts, Sowalsky will work with consultants Paul Hobbs and Tom Prentice to continue to build the quality and character of Clos Pegase’s wines.

“My late beloved wife, Mitsuko and I created Clos Pegase as a temple for wine and art 25 years ago. We purchased 450 acres of vineyard land in the Napa Valley to satisfy our passion for wine with the goal to produce the best estate wines possible,” says Clos Pegase founder and proprietor, Jan Shrem. “We are joyful that with consultant Paul Hobb’s input we have chosen Richard as our winemaker and we are confident his experience and education will draw out the very best from our vineyards.”

Sowalsky’s previous winemaking position was at Tetra, part of the Hill & Wollack Wine Estates. Prior to Tetra, he spent two years as the winemaker at William Hill Estate and six years at Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville as associate winemaker for the Bordeaux varieties. Before joining Mondavi, Sowalsky was a research enologist for Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge winery in Lodi, Handley Cellars in Philo, California, and Havens Wine Cellars in Napa.

“I see winemaking as similar in some respects to jazz music: informed improvisation through a vision of individual style is key to success in either discipline,” notes Sowalsky. His philosophy involves becoming attuned to the particulars of a vineyard site and using his vast body of knowledge as a starting point for approaching each unique lot of grapes. Sowalsky’s passion for blending has been informed through many hours dedicated to tasting and experimenting with many hundreds of individual wine lots of each vintage.

Sowalsky’s education includes attending University of California at Davis, University of Maryland, California Culinary Academy and Amherst College. He is a published author and sits on the editorial review board of the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. When not making wine or walking rows of vines, Sowalsky enjoys scuba diving, hiking and reading.