A fifth generation from Russian River Valley in Sonoma County Eugenia was born in Santa Rosa and raised in the Bay Area.
After an uneventful sojourn at university (OK maybe not, it was the late sixties after all) and a brief flirtation with law, banking, and Hollywood she landed home again in Sonoma County. She had uncovered her passion for wine (and food) after one superb dining experience in the city of fallen angels when the historical/cultural/science/art and agriculture synergy clicked.Her first industry job was in the tasting room at Sutter Home Winery in Napa Valley explaining the delights and delicacies of white zinfandel. This quickly lead to a retreat to the vineyard, her real love.
Apprenticeships with Joseph Swan and Warren Dutton fulfilled her budding interest in viticulture and broadened her knowledge of grape growing with an emphasis on pinot noir and chardonnay. This was followed by “stages” in Burgundy with Pousse d’Or (red wine) and Etienne Sauzet (white wine).
Back home it was time to learn the rest of the business and she enriched her journey as GM of Hop Kiln Winery (RRV, Sonoma County), President and CEO of Bouchaine Vineyards (Carneros, Napa Valley) and President of Vine Cliff Winery (Oakville, Napa Valley).
In 1994 she realized a dream of establishing her own label in Russian River Valley, Keegan Cellars, specializing in pinot noir and chardonnay.
Only romance could tear her away from her beloved California, vineyards and winemaking.
A move to Oregon (the romance part!) resulted in a weird bend in the road and in 2003 she founded Tsarina Wines, a fine wine distribution house headquartered in Portland. It was here that Eugenia fell in love with grenache.
She sold this company in 2009 and quickly returned to her roots in the vineyard and the winery, but with a new muse.