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Matt McDermaid

The story of how I moved myself from the boatyard to the vineyard and cellar is interesting. I was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA, in July 1995. Some of my most vivid early memories include vineyards, boats, and the ocean. Since the age of eight, I have been sailing and racing on my own and I immediately fell in love with every aspect from it. That love helped carry my competitive spirit through college and to this day. I was recruited to sail competitively for, and attend, Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. I graduated in May 2017, with a BA in Business Management. I enjoyed my time on the east coast dearly, but after four years, I knew that I needed to go back home to California.

After college, I was initially lost and had no clue what I wanted to do. I was luckily saved by my aunt and uncle, owners of GlenLyon Vineyards & Winery in Glen Ellen, CA and offered a one-year internship. The point behind this was, just in case I realized I did not want to continue to work in the wine industry, I would at least appreciate a desk job a lot more after doing hard manual labor for an entire year. However, after a year of learning everything from planting grape vines, to repairing irrigation lines, and how to rack a barrel of wine I was hooked.

While working at GlenLyon (with the gentle pushing from my family) I applied to Sonoma State Universities’ Wine Business MBA Program and was accepted with a start date of August 2018. While I was starting my MBA program, I also began working full time at the Meeker Vineyard in Healdsburg, CA in both their cellar and in their tasting room. During my first harvest at Meeker, I was inspired to start making my own wine and start my own label. Since then, I have completed my MBA at Sonoma State, been admitted to the Graduate Winemaking Program at UC Davis and continue to work at Meeker where I also supervise Staysail’s production on the side.

 Education

  • High School – Huntington Beach High School, 2013
  • College – Washington College, 2017, BA Business Management
  • Graduate School – Sonoma State University, 2020, MBA – Wine Business
  • Wine & Spirit Education Trust – Level I, Level II – 2020
  • Graduate Program – Winemaking Certificate, UC Davis, Started 6/2021

Publications

Work History

  • Alamitos Bay Yacht Club – Sailing Instructor 2013-2017 (summers)
  • GlenLyon Vineyards and Winery 2017-2018
  • The Meeker Vineyard and Winery 2018 – present

Other

  • US Sailing – Level 1 Certified Sailing Instructor
  • American Red Cross – CPR and First Aid
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