A single harvest in Sonoma transformed this pre-med student into a winemaker
Ashley has spent the better part of two decades making wines in Sonoma County at famed wineries like Mauritson, Amista and Bacigalupi. Now she’s making her own specially for you.
Ashley’s mission is to bring Angels premium wines from cool-climate areas like Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. Sparkling, white, red – you name it, she can make it!
Angel funding allows Ashley the opportunity to work with some of the region's best vineyards – making world-class wines from top-notch fruit – all while supporting growers, their employees and the community.
Ashley Herzberg's Story
Ashley fell into the wine industry in a roundabout way. Growing up, wine was always on the table. Her parents loved to cook and make dinner together. Wine was always a part of that togetherness and bonding.
At the University of Nevada at Reno, Ashley studied chemical engineering thinking that would be a great prerequisite degree for medical school, which had always been her plan. During college, she worked in a hospital doing wound care and working with patients in the physical therapy department. Although she loved it, she realized being inside a hospital was definitely not where she was meant to be.
With a nudge from one of her professors, she began applying at wineries to work a harvest before attending grad school. A week after her graduation, she moved to Sonoma County to begin her job in the lab at Owl Ridge, a custom crush winery. By the second day, she realized she was in love with her work. That harvest quickly turned into an all-encompassing passion and love of winemaking with all the art, science, chemistry, engineering and fun behind it.
At Owl Ridge, Ashley worked as a lab technician, then lab manager, where she benefited from working with top Pinot Noir mentors like Merry Edwards, Greg Lafollette, Anthony Austin and Scot Covington. Because Owl Ridge had over 40 clients at the time, it provided her with invaluable experience and knowledge.
In 2007, Ashley became an enologist, then assistant winemaker at Mauritson Winery. She branched out on her own as a consulting winemaker in 2011, making wine for some small, family-owned wineries in Sonoma County, like Amista Vineyards, Bacigalupi and Cast Wines.
Her most memorable winemaking moment to date was in 2011, her first harvest as her own boss. She recalled standing in the pouring rain while picking a Zinfandel vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. She had a moment of “I don't know what I'm doing!”, but quickly got past that to make a beautiful wine out of a challenging (and wet!) vintage. That memory has gotten her through many tough moments along the way.
Ashley pours her heart and soul into every wine she makes. Her wines are a snapshot of the vineyards and vintages they come from. For her, winemaking is the intersection of art and science, yielding something truly beautiful.
Ashley enjoys sharing her winemaker life with her two children. From a very young age, they were with her in the vineyards and in the winery at the sorting table – initially in a baby backpack. Now they pick and sort along with the crew. They get to see their mom working hard at something she loves. She hopes that translates to their future career paths.
With seventeen years and harvests behind her, Ashley is ready to make wines under her own name for Angels. She wants you to taste where these wines came from and the joy that went into making them. Not only are you supporting her, but also the grape growers and everyone that works for them. Your support ensures a thriving industry and community.