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Thornton Winery

32575 Rancho California Rd,
Temecula, CA 92591
United States

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He attended college in San Diego and followed his fiancé Christy to San Francisco where she was getting her Doctorate in Pharmacy. Tom completed his studies at San Francisco State University where he graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry.

While living in the Bay Area as a starving student, Tom and Christy would drive up to Napa and Sonoma on the weekends to visit wineries. During the mid-90s it was free or very cheap to go wine tasting there and it was a great way to have fun for very little money. In combination with these visits, they visited a small wine shop in San Francisco that held weekly wine tastings of higher end wines, and it is here that Tom fell in love with wine. He briefly considered attending UC Davis for a master’s degree in Viticulture and Enology, but decided it wasn’t a “real” job and moved back to San Diego to get married and start his professional career.

Tom spent the first 19 years of his career as a chemist in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries in analytical chemistry, quality control and quality assurance. Although working at companies developing new medicines for HIV/AIDS and diabetes was very rewarding he became increasingly passionate about wine. Tom sought to experience as many different wines as possible from regions throughout the world, furthered his knowledge of wine by reading about winemaking and the world’s great wines, and gained a strong appreciation for all styles of wine.

Following this long-time passion for wine, and with the urging and support of his wife, Tom left the pharmaceutical industry behind to begin work in Temecula wineries starting at the tail-end of the 2006 harvest, volunteering at Maurice Car’rie. Starting in late 2006, he worked as the Lab Enologist at South Coast Winery where he built on his strong chemistry background and was responsible for all laboratory analysis in the winery and working closely with the winemakers in blending and other fine tuning of the wines. During this time, he finished the Winemaking certificate program through UC Davis. In order to further his knowledge of the world of wines, Tom began to study with the Court of Master Sommeliers and successfully passed the Certified Sommelier exam. Some of the Master Sommeliers in the movie Somm taught the program.
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