Though Chris and I tend to be the outward face of Bedrock one cannot get a real sense of how Bedrock wines are made without a humble bow to the small group who bust their behinds for us almost every single day. Though possessing different personalities and strengths we can say that a golden thread of thoughtfulness, intrepidness and kindness runs through the group as a whole. -MTP
Associate Winemaker Cody Rasmussen was born in Arizona and raised in Iowa, places that respectively instilled in him his lifelong loves of collecting rocks and reading (not much else to do in Iowa). He double-majored in political science and economics at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he met his first intellectual nemesis, Chemistry 201—a cruel irony a few years later when he had to self-teach about redox reactions and polar-covalent bonds in the cellar.
A month abroad in Stellenbosch and a semester eating all the pizza in Rome introduced Cody to the wine world, and back at Williams for Senior year, Cody spent all his food money on wine from the local wine shop while opting for the collegial sustenance of ramen, Mac ‘n’ Cheese and frozen pizza. The Wine Atlas and The Oxford Companion to Wine guided his extra-curricular studies; Reading Between the Wines changed the course of his career ambitions.
He sent a cold-call email to every winery in the Russian River, Dry Creek and Alexander valleys and landed his first harvest job in the Russian River Valley in 2011. He then worked harvests at Patz & Hall in Sonoma and Craggy Range Winery in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, before becoming Bedrock Wine Co’s third employee in summer 2013. Cody, his wife Emily and their son Caleb live in Sonoma with their golden retrievers Kinley and Maya. When not in the winery, Cody is most frequently found cooking Serious Eats recipes, devouring the pages of a viticulture book or backpacking in the High Sierras.
Growing up in a Virginia wine-growing family, Assistant Winemaker Katie Rouse was always interested in the culture of winemaking, as it brought together “an incredible ragtag group of craftspeople, musicians, and life-enthusiasts” around her. But despite spending fall afternoons after soccer practice washing picking bins in the rain, somehow the romance of the industry didn’t appeal to her – until a college class called “Terroir” attracted her Geology major self to the creative and scientific possibilities of winemaking.
Now with a Master of Science degree in Viticulture & Enology from UC Davis, Katie comes to Bedrock after winemaking stints around the world - most recently as cellarmaster at Crocker & Starr in Napa but also in Burgundy and with our friends Andrea and Chris Mullineux in the Swartland of South Africa.
Her favorite type of rock (yes, of course she has a favorite type of rock) is unakite – a beautiful type of altered granite that is pink feldspar orthoclase with pistachio-colored epidote. “I have a few stones of it in my car to bring me good juju,” she says.
When wine isn’t in her glass, she’s most likely drinking a cold gin and tonic or a tall glass of pilsner – and when not at the winery, Katie is most likely found rolling fresh pasta, foraging roadside plants for a seasonal wreath, reading another page of “On Food and Cooking” by Harold McGee or playing a feisty game of cribbage.
Oh, and as if we weren’t already impressed enough by her badassery, Katie has also run two marathons, was a glacier guide in Alaska, and has her own side-hustle wine brand called Birdhorse, focusing on natural and diverse wines that she makes with her partner Corinne.
Director of Viticulture, Jake Neustadt, grew up in the East Bay and came of age backpacking in the Sierras and annoying his neighbors with an overly loud garage band. His higher education at UC Davis began with a focus on journalism and international relations but, upon realizing the bleak realities of those career paths, quickly gravitated toward agriculture and winemaking.
Jake’s wine industry career has orbited around old vines (Rock Wall Wine Company, Ridge) with a sidestep into West Sonoma County Pinot Noir (Freeman) and a harvest learning the agony of bird nets in Central Otago, New Zealand (Misha’s Vineyard). It was at Ridge, under the tutelage of David Gates and Will Thomas, that Jake learned the idiosyncrasies of farming old vines with sustainable practices like biological control and site-specific cover cropping along with using modern viticultural instrumentation and data analysis in order to improve old-school organic and dry farming practices.
Among his many talents, Jake can show you the difference between a beneficial six spotted thrip and an injurious pacific spider mite egg on the back of a grape leaf. When not at the winery, he’s probably drinking wine at his home in Sonoma, backpacking/hiking, or playing/writing/singing music.
Viticulturist Casey is a grape-growing triple threat: she knows viticulture and soil science, has a great palate, and also has a background in sales. Casey grew up in Houston, TX, and studied Geological Sciences at the University of Texas. “If you ask any of my friends and family,” she says, “nobody has any idea how I so quickly went from being slightly curious about wine to throwing my life into it over the course of a couple months.” The connection makes sense, though: Casey has always loved the connection to earth and the huge variety of topics that she can study through the lens of wine, from history and science to business and, of course, geology.
Though she started her career at Exxon, she quickly fell in love with wine while working through the WSET program and moved over to the sales side of the industry. A move to California in 2016 to work harvest at Pellegrini followed by a few more years of pounding the pavement in sales made her realize she wanted to be on the “making” side of things. In 2020 she was Bedrock Wine Co.’s viticulture intern and spent the following two years working up the ranks at organic guru Phil Coturri’s Enterprise Vineyard Management while also getting her WSET Diploma.
As the Bedrock viticulturist, Casey is the right-hand to Jake Neustadt, helping oversee all aspects of vineyard operations across the many counties the winery farms and sources fruit in, as well as aiding in grape sales to outside clients of Bedrock Vineyard.
When not out in the vineyards, Casey is most likely hiking, camping, or running. And when wine isn’t in her glass? A good cider or a Negroni or other gin-based cocktail.
Jackie has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of her life, save for two years in New York City and a post-college internship in Paris (her French is flawless, for those interested in hearing all about Bedrock wines en française). A UC Berkeley graduate with degrees in French and Political Economy of Industrialized Societies, Jackie first got into wine during her travels throughout Europe and through work with garagiste winemakers in San Francisco during her work in urban planning. Her wine love skyrocketed, though, when she met her future husband Gustavo, the Winemaker at Scribe in Sonoma, and became immersed in the wine community.
In 2016, Jackie and Gustavo moved to Napa, and after studying wine through the WSET program and Napa Valley Community College, started working in marketing for a Napa winery. She jumped over to the Sonoma side in 2018, when she joined us at Bedrock. She helps the team with all things sales, hospitality and logistics related — you may also recognize her as “Sound Engineer Jackie” on the Bedrock Wine Conversations podcast. On the weekends, you can most likely find her hiking, watching soccer, concert-hopping around the Bay, and working on her Spanish.
Our Tasting Room Manager Grant Wood is a man of many talents, from his past life as a San Francisco DJ (which has significantly benefitted our Hooker House playlist) to pumpovers at the winery on days the tasting room is closed. Grant grew up in a 1950s ranch house in the Napa countryside and was introduced to food and wine during his high school days working in catering. While working at Cardinale, a bottle of 2000 Howell Mountain Cabernet Franc changed the way he looked at wine, and his wine career took off.
Grant is now a Certified Sommelier and holder of a WSET Diploma in Wine & Spirits. Impressive wine creds aside, Grant is happiest sharing wines with those around him. “Whether you’re a guest, a loved one, or a friend,” he says, “the person in front of me means the world to me, and I want everyone to feel just a bit more special when they leave than they did before our time together.”
When not diving into wine study, Grant spends his time cooking wine-inspired meals or drinking meal-inspired wines, and he starts every day with a morning run with his Formosan Mountain Dog, Luna (who happens to have a major crush on Jackie’s dog Nico).
Cellarmaster Seph grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin—as he says, home to America’s football team and the happiest cows on earth. A population of European immigrants with healthy appetites for dairy made cheese an acceptable entrée for most meals. Growing up, his parents drank wine on occasion, but it wasn’t until Seph moved to California in 2015 that he got to experience friends opening bottles and talking about what they were drinking.
After working as a seasonal mountain guide, Seph started working on the wine side, and after a few seasons on the viticulture end and abroad in the cellar, his passion for learning the ins and outs of the industry brought him to Bedrock as a harvest intern in 2018. We couldn’t quit him, and he’s been part of the Bedrock crew full-time ever since. When not working at the winery in his role of cellar guy and uncle to the winery dogs, Seph can be found hiking, climbing and swimming circles around the rest of us. (Can you climb in circles? He probably can). Seph grew up swimming competitively and has been known to go from hiking and climbing for two weeks in Tasmania to jumping straight into the Australia Day Open water swim – and winning first place. His other hobbies include skiing, spearfishing and in general, any outdoor tomfoolery. His drink of choice: Syrah or a classic Old Fashioned.
Aiste joins the Bedrock family with one of the most fascinating backstories we’ve seen yet. Born and raised in Lithuania, Aiste developed her passion for wine over time, culminating when she got a job at a small winery in Truckee, CA. She spent eight years there before moving to Napa Valley. It wasn’t necessarily one specific bottle that led to her career in wine, “but observing the winemaking process, literally turning water into wine to me seemed like a pretty special craft and motivated to dive deeper,” she says.
Aiste’s 10 years’ experience in the wine industry included a harvest internship in 2017 at Skinner Vineyards before she moved back into hospitality, meanwhile becoming a Certified Sommelier and passing her WSET Level 3 with distinction. She is the embodiment of poise and hospitality and has a particular knack for translating wine expertise into casual conversation.
When not at Hooker House, Aiste can be found translating books from English to Lithuanian (a hobby she’s done for 14 years) or hosting supper clubs with her friends, each month focusing on a different wine theme.