Each year as summer comes to a close several interns arrive at Red Newt Cellars. Over the years, they have come from Australia, Switzerland, and various states from around the country. Some have worked harvests before, some come looking for a different experience, other come to learn more about wine. Every year their hard work helps the Red Newt winemaking team create carefully crafted wines reflective of time and place. So, let’s meet the 2020 Red Newt Intern Crew who have been hard at work.
Meet Taylor Stember!
She hails from Carmel, California. As a UC Davis graduate, she enjoys traveling and working harvests around the world. In fact, Taylor spent the past two years working the harvests ‘down under’ in Australia. Her favorite variety of grape is Frappato. The variety is Italian, and mostly grown in Sicily. Frappato produces a light bodied red with juicy aromatics.
Harvest is physically demanding work and therefore, harvest snacks are essential for one’s survival! Taylor relies on apples and peanut butter to get her through. Demanding work requires great music. You will frequently see her dancing on the crush pad. Her favorite music jam while working harvest is anything Beyonce!
Many interns return home or head off to another harvest once the Finger Lakes harvest is complete. We have a feeling you’ll be seeing Taylor around for quite a while following this year’s harvest!
Meet Jamie Schlicht
Jamie Schlicht is Brooklyn born and Long Island grown. She says, “Hospitality is my thang!” Jamie began in the hospitality industry in high school. Since then she’s worn the many hats of hospitality including server, bartender and sommelier. When not working in the hospitality industry Jamie is a perennial student who works with economically underserved GED and adult TESOL students while taking her own graduate classes.
When asked why the Finger Lakes, she admits, “I’ve had so many compelling wines from the region, but as yet had not actually been to the area.” Since NYC restaurants closed, an opportunity presented itself to come work a harvest.
Doing something you have never done before presents many challenges and Jamie has loved learning how we make wine from the ground up. What’s her favorite wine? Chardonnay! Jamie loves the endless expressions of the variety, which match any mood and many of the different foods she loves.
Favorite snack and harvest music? Well, it’s a tie between Swidish Fish and beer! As for her music choice, she likes to keep things festive, so jammin’ to Samhain keeps things interesting!
Meet Katie Cochrane
Katie hails from Philadelphia by way of Brooklyn, with numerous other stops along the way. Katie’s background is in food science. In fact, her various food science work has had her formulating chicken mcnuggets to cake mixes and ice cream to yogurt. Now, she’s a brewer who specializes in mixed culture fermentations. For the most part, this means she works with mostly sour beers.
Katie wanted to diversify a bit and try working a wine harvest. However, she wanted to do it a bit closer to home, so the connections and relationships she built during harvest would not seem like a completely separate world. So, naturally the Finger Lakes was one of her first choices. Each day brings something different and new to learn, and she hopes this is not her only stint in the region.
Katie is still learning about wine so she doesn’t necessarily have a favorite varietal. Each day she learns something new about wine and gets closer to figuring out what she likes! Her favorite grab and go snack to keep her energy up for harvest are apple slices. What song keeps her going during harvest? “Running Up that Hill” by Kate Bush.
Meet Jamie Rubin
Last, but certainly not least! Meet Jamie Rubin. When asked where he’s from, he responds, “Bad things happen in Philadelphia.” Jamie comes from a diverse background having worked at a dog kennel, a pet shop, cleaning offices, as a puppeteer, in filmmaking, retail, fast food delivery and a handful of other jobs. Most recently he has worked extensively as a restaurant general manager and sommelier. Jamie worked the 2016 harvest at Element Winery and fell in love with the area, the people and the wines. When COVID shut down restaurants in Philly and the opportunity presented itself, Jamie decided to return to the Finger Lakes for another harvest and has worked with Red Newt Cellars since September.
Jamie’s favorite time of year is harvest in the Finger Lakes. He thrives on the massive load of information he learns each day he works and loves the ability to be away from a city right now. Jamie loves the people of the Finger Lakes, and the spirit of genuine collaboration between the communities and the wine industry community.
Hey Jamie! What’s your favorite varietal again? “ZINFANDEL! Yes, I like my wine to taste like fruit, and sometimes I don’t want to decide whether to drink something full or light bodied. Besides, Zin brings people together!” He loves grapes so much it is also his favorite snack at harvest. We have warned him though, he will eventually tire of that and if you ask about his favorite music while working harvest – 1990s hip hop. Who’d have thought? Jamie is full of surprises!
We thank our interns for their great attitudes, hard work and dedication to harvest 2020! We look forward to seeing where you go from here.