Keyways Welcomes new Winemaker

Keyways Welcomes new Winemaker David Raffaele Picture

Time moves on, seasons change, and it’s seems inevitable that winemakers will come and go. So it is that David Raffaele, formerly part of the winemaking team at Maurice Car'rie and Van Roekel Vineyard and Wineries, has been selected as the new winemaker at Keyways Winery. I think this is an excellent choice for this winery and I know you’ll enjoy reading about this interesting young winemaker.

Keyways Winery, founded in 1989 by Mr. Carl Key, was one of the original wineries that established Temecula Valley Wine Country. Today, under the ownership of Terri Pebley Delhamer, Keyways has the unique distinction of being the only woman owned and managed winery in the South Coast region.

David's passion for wine began while living and working in Italy as a Navy photojournalist. During his travels throughout Europe during a six-year sojourn, he was unwittingly exposed to a number of handcrafted, limited-production wines rarely available for purchase outside the small village where they were produced. He visited vineyards in the countryside, occasionally met with or interviewed local winegrowers and before long became deeply enamored with Mediterranean living. The yearning for that lifestyle eventually led him to Temecula Valley and, after separating from the service David began his apprenticeship as a winemaker at Maurice Car'rie and Van Roekel Wineries. Under the mentorship of award-winning winemaker Gus Vizgirda, David began learning the skills and discipline required to be a competitive winemaker in Temecula Valley.

Along with hands-on experience he earned formal educations in vineyard management and wine chemistry. After three harvests at Maurice Car'rie, David sought out a winemaking position in the valley and found a home at Keyways Vineyard and Winery. He is particularly excited to be working with and cultivating the grapes grown at Keyway's estate vineyard. He believes these warm-climate Mediterranean varietals; Grenache, Tempranillo, Roussanne and Viognier, have amazing potential for producing premium wines in Southern California. His vision at Keyways is simple: to continue learning the science and art behind great winemaking, to promote Temecula Valley's unique terroir, and develop innovative winemaking programs that will bring Temecula Valley grapes into their highest form of varietal expression, depth and character.

Click here for more information about Keyways Vineyard & Winery.