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Welcome Brett Miller, Winemaker
Please join us in welcoming Brett Miller, our new Winemaker, to MauiWine!
As a child, Brett recalls afternoons spent on the kitchen counter helping his French grandmother prepare meals for their family. She would always hand him his own little glass of wine to enjoy, and she taught Brett early‐on that the combination of good company, good food and great wine should not be without. Being born and raised in a small rural farming community in Oregon is what helped foster Brett’s appreciation for nature and working the land. And it’s these values, fresh in mind and close to heart, that Brett credits his passion for grape growing and winemaking.
Brett pursued a degree in biology and chemistry from Linfield College, and after his initial experience as a harvest assistant at NW Wine Company, was satisfyingly convinced of his direction and passion for the wine industry. His first job in the cellar was focused on producing terroir-driven wines, which just reinforced his ideology that “wines are not made, they’re grown,” and that the location is what’s special. Brett’s efforts to build upon his viticultural knowledge started when he became a Vineyard Manager for Vinetenders, one of Oregon’s premier vineyard management companies. One thing Brett loves about wine is that, “every bottle takes you to the place and time where those grapes were grown.” So when it became time to broaden his scope, Brett traveled south to New Zealand where he worked in the vineyards of Felton Road Winery and in the cellar of Central Otago Wine Company. “I really cherish the time I spent in New Zealand … it’s a place that inspired me to grow and explore both in and out of wine,” he said. Before joining MauiWine, Brett held the position of Assistant Winemaker at Solena Estate in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Under the tutelage of Winemakers Bruno Corneaux and Laurent Montalieu, Brett was immersed in every aspect of the winemaking process for the ultra‐premium producer.
Brett took over the reigns as Head Winemaker for MauiWine at the beginning of 2014. “I was attracted to Ulupalakua Vineyards because it has to be one of the most unique wineries in the world. The beautiful thing about wine is that each bottle reflects the place it is from and the people that make it. I’m excited to be in this beautiful place and to be a part of this passionate team of people,” he said. In his new role, Brett’s focus will be to build upon the recent successes and advances of the winery and its 23-acre vineyard. Ulupalakua Vineyard, having just completed a comprehensive replanting, is adding Brett’s talents to the team just as its youngest vines enter into early maturity and begin producing harvestable fruit. Witnessing firsthand the personality and character these new varietals of Malbec, Grenache, and Gewürztraminer will take on is something Brett is really looking forward to. “It’s not like waiting for a typical varietal to mature in a typical place… these varietals, in this soil, with this climate will be incomparable, and that’s pretty special.”