Pine Hill Wine Works

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Welcome to Pine Hill Wine Works. I’m Rod Byers. I’ve been in the wine business all my adult life. I had my first wine related job at the age of 17, although at the time I had no idea it would become my future vocation. I was a grape picker in Europe. It wasn’t about love of wine, about flavors or aromas or any other part of the magic or mystery that is wine. I was broke. I needed the money.

It wasn’t a cushy internship with leisurely lunches with the vineyard owners discussing wine styles. No, we were in the vineyard from sunrise to sunset stopping only for nourishment. I had been hired on along with an extended migrant family of about 40 eastern Europeans who spent their summer traveling throughout Europe picking various crops.

The experience created a remarkable and indelible introduction to the world of wine. I had no knowledge of the quality or even th
e type of wine that those grapes would create. I don’t even remember if the grapes were white or red.

But there is much that I do remember. I recall standing among the rows of vines just as the first glimmer of light pierced the pre-dawn horizon, our gusts of breath visible in the damp morning air. I

remember the stickiness of the sweet grape juice gluing my fingers together as gnarled, bent women, four times my age, brushed past me picking at a pace I would never achieve. I remember the fascinating stories told to me by people who’s world was so foreign to me that they might as well have been from Mars.

I didn’t know it at the time but that was my first experience proving that the stories that happen around a bottle of wine are every bit as fascinating if not more so than what’s inside the bottle. Looking back, I think it was then and there, in that vineyard, where my life long affair with wine began. And it’s still the stories surrounding the wine that fascinate me the most.



March 19, 2013.

What’s New At Wine Talk?

The Science Of Shape. Does the shape of the glass influence the taste of the wine? Click On The “Wine Talk” link above to find out.

Spring Wine Classes:

There is a new set of brand new wine classes starting this spring. Next up on April 11, The Wines of the Mediterranean, followed by the Wines of the Northern Sierra Foothills.

Click above on “Sierra College Classes” tab for a description of the Sierra College Community Education Kaleidoscope wine classes and click on for a direct link to enroll.