Alma de al Vina Wines

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About the Winemaker

Rod Wurst, Winemaker | Alma de la Vina
Rod, a long time oenophile and a nurse by profession, received a wine making kit as a birthday gift from his sister Margaret. Making those six gallons, which were quite good, got him hooked. After a couple of years of trying his hand at a small vineyard, Rod started buying grapes from Karmere Vineyards of Amador County. Karmere wine had long been a favorite of Rod and his wife Sharon. Along with the grapes Karmere sold them, they also took the new vintners under their wing, teaching them how to refine their techniques. In exchange, Rod poured wine for Karmere during some of their events. This was the turning point when Rod seriously started thinking about making wine on a regular basis in his spare time.

While winemaking and nursing may seem like polar opposites on the career scale, Rod's nursing experience really helped. In nursing, sanitation and sterility are very important and the same is true for winemaking. A baccalaureate degree in nursing requires several years of organic and inorganic chemistry, as well as microbiology and biology – all of which is necessary to understand the chemistry behind winemaking.

Winemaking also ties in well with Rod's love of cooking. He believes that wine is a food product in and of itself, and – much like a meal created from scratch – its outcome wholly depends on how it is prepared and the ingredients used.

For several years, Rod and a few friends successfully made many award winning wines at home. As the passion for winemaking grew, Rod knew he wanted to share his wines with everyone. To do so required him to go commercial. So in 2008, with the blessings and encouragement of family and friends, Rod took the giant leap.

Alma de la Viña is the result of that passion, vision, and friendship. An accomplished watercolor painter, Rod painted the picture used on the label. The original hangs in Rod and Sharon's den.

Rod is grateful for the love and support of his family and for the many people who have helped him launch this new career. Finally, none of this could have been done without the Lord's blessing. It was God who brought the friends together and it is God who continues to bless this endeavor. May He richly bless you also...

Numbers 6: 24-26 – The Lord bless you and protect you; May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you; May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.