From Landscape Planning to Vineyard Planting
Graduate Richard Krumwiede makes a successful career change from architect to winemaker
As a landscape architect, Richard Krumwiede, now winemaker/viticulturist at Sycamore Ranch Vineyard & Winery, always enjoyed visiting the grounds of the many wineries he worked on. In 2007, he decided to plant a zinfandel vineyard on his own property after a beetle infestation killed off the native pines. As the vineyard developed, he began making wine, further cultivating his interest in viticulture and winemaking.
In 2012, Krumwiede and a co-op of friends purchased grapes from central coast vineyards. “We made 150 cases initially, to finally 225 cases in 2015, winning many amateur winemaking medals along the way.” Having enjoyed success as an amateur winemaker, he decided to become licensed and make a career out of it.
To launch his career in winemaking, Krumwiede decided to apply for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education's Winemaking Certificate Program. “My wife and I attended several weekend courses at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education and had heard very good things about the program from others in the industry,” said Krumwiede.
What was the most valuable thing you got out of the program:
“Problem solving, of both winemaking issues I was familiar with, as well as those I hadn’t yet experienced. There were lots of production and stability details that, if you pay attention to, you’ll end up with way fewer problems and much better wine.”
What was the biggest challenge you faced upon entering the program?
“The amount of time and effort required to complete it. I was still running my landscape architecture company and launching my winery. During the 2016 crush, I suspended my course work for a quarter so I could focus on the winery. We have a small tasting room and winery where we produce approximately 500 cases of red wine, ±100 cases of white wine and 150-200 cases of hard cider. It’s a very challenging program that gives you a solid grounding and understanding of the fundamentals of winemaking.”
And your plans for the future?
“Continuing to grow the winery and focusing 100% of my time and attention to it.”