Good Fruit Grower

February 2015

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22 FEBRUARY 1, 2015 Good Fruit Grower W omen have made great strides filling winemaker posi- tions in the Washington wine industry, but progress is slow on the production side. Julia Kock is one of the few women in Washington holding the rank of vine- yard general manager. Kock (pronounced Cook) has been general manager since 2005 at Klipsun Vineyards in Benton City. Also noteworthy, she was in the first graduating class of Washington State University's viticulture and enol- ogy program ten years ago. Klipsun Vineyards on Red Mountain is one of the state's most pres- tigious vineyards. It was named in the top 25 vineyards of the world by Wine and Spirits magazine in 2002 and received 100-point scores from wine critic Robert Parker for the 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2007 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. (Klipsun grapes are part of the blend). Klipsun owners David and Patricia Gelles, who transformed sagebrush into wine grapes, celebrated the vineyards' 30th anniversary in August. "I was really lucky to get my start in the wine grape industry at Klipsun Vineyards," Kock said during harvest in October. How does one with little experience land a management job at one of Washington's most exclusive vineyards? "She came with high recommendations from her WSU advisor Dr. Sara Spayd," said Patricia. "I could tell she was a bright woman, and she had a very good palate for wine." Patricia wasn't concerned about hiring a female for what has tradi- tionally been a man's job. "Julia is tall, and she has a presence about her. I knew she could learn on the job and would grow into it. Plus, the Viticulture Few women hold vineyard management positions. by Melissa Hansen PHOTOS BY TJ MULLINAX/GOOD FRUIT GROWER Julia Kock, left, and Maria Garcia go through the harvest totals at Klipsun Vineyards on Red Mountain AVA near Benton City, Washington. WOMEN in vineyards Kock, a self-admitted monster record keeper, has been general manager at Klipsun Vineyards since 2005.

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