Winemaker Clay Brock
After growing up in the Napa Valley where his dad managed vineyards, Clay Brock seemed destined for a life in wine.
He wasted no time in building his credentials-starting with earning a degree in Agricultural Business Management from California Polytechnic State University located in the heart of the Central Coast. Clay fell in love with the region, which was just beginning to gain a reputation for the quality of its wines. So after graduation, he put down Central Coast roots when he accepted the post of Assistant Winemaker at Byron Winery. He later became Winemaker at Edna Valley and then spent seven years at Zaca Mesa as Vice President of Winemaking.
In 2008, destiny called again when he took over as Winemaker at Wild Horse Vineyards and Winery in Paso Robles where he was given freedom to craft his own approach to winemaking. His accomplishments were recognized in 2010 when he was named Winemaker of the Year by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and the Central Coast Vineyard Team.
“Making wine is a balancing act,” Clay says. “Yes, there are things we can do once the fruit is picked to bring out the best in the grapes. But it’s also critical to not interfere with the magic that takes place in the vineyards.”
In 2013 he became the General Manager and Winemaker for Estancia in Monterey County. Working for Estancia having vast vineyards gave Clay more leeway to make wines which expressed the Central Coast.
In March 2016, Clay assumed the role of Winemaker for Bell Town. In his new role Clay will have the opportunity to work with fruit from very prestigious sources and highly sought after California appellations.
Clay says that after 30 years in the wine industry, “I still believe I have the coolest job on the planet.”