Employee Spotlight: Katie Sears

Recently working her way up from Cellar Worker to Frank Family’s Enologist, Katie has been a key part to our winemaking team for the past three years. She grew up coming to Napa Valley with her parents and sister and was ultimately hooked on winemaking when helping her dad disgorge homemade sparkling wine at 20 years old. From there, Katie earned her Associates Degree in Winemaking at the Napa Valley Community College before following her passion overseas to complete her Bachelors in Enology and Viticulture in Bordeaux, France. Katie’s career goal is to start a winery with her dad someday and we’re grateful to have her on our team until then!

Q: What does your new role as an Enologist look like?

A: As Frank Family’s Enologist, I mainly run analysis on our wine samples in the lab and set up trials for our Winemaker Todd. I’ve also been working with safety specialists to ensure the winery is maintaining safe standards which has been interesting. I’d say the biggest difference I’ve experienced since moving from the cellar to the lab is getting a much closer look at all the different aspects that go into running a winery.

Q: What is your favorite Frank Family wine?

A: The Chiles Valley Zinfandel because it’s bold and smooth in a way that really hits the spot.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Frank Family?

A: The people – we have a really great team and we know how to make the job fun. Also, working in the beautiful Napa Valley every day is a plus.

Q: The theme for our latest magazine is “Giving Back,” is there a specific charity that is special to you?

A: One organization that I’d like to highlight is the Intertribal Agriculture Council which is a nonprofit organization founded to promote conservation, development, and use of agricultural resources for indigenous peoples. I think in the spirit of giving back it’s important to support and recognize the people who have stewarded this land for hundreds of years.

Q: What’s your advice for someone wanting to start a career in winemaking?

A: Just jump in and get your hands dirty! Work a harvest internship and learn as much as possible on the way.

Q: What’s a fun fact about yourslef?

A: I’m a competitive ski racer.