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michael fay, vp of winemaking

Vice President of Winemaking and Viticulture

Michael Fay

Where are you from?

Born in Vicenza, Italy and raised in Southern California

What were you doing before coming to Domaine Serene?

I started my schooling at the University of Washington School of Forestry Management and finished at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Winemaking and Viticulture. I started my career in a vineyard in Santa Maria Valley, CA, and spent 11 years honing my skills making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under the tutelage of Denise Shurtleff, my biggest mentor and one of the most awesome people in the wine industry. From there I moved to a head winemaker role at Goldeneye Winery in Anderson Valley, CA, part of Duckhorn Wine Company. Expanding my knowledge in estate-driven, premium/luxury Pinot Noir and sparkling wine production.

What brought you into the wine industry? Why the passion for wine?

I fell in love with Oregon Pinot Noir while working in restaurants in Seattle. I began to think that it may be more fun to grow and sell wine than it would be to grow and sell paper.

What is your role at Domaine Serene and what do you enjoy most about it? 

I manage all aspects of grape growing and winemaking for Domaine Serene and our French entities ensuring quality at every step of the process. I ensure that Domaine Serene and our French entities are recognized as industry leaders for premium, luxury Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and sparkling wines. I enjoy the balance of science and artistry at all stages of grape growing and winemaking, using both sides of the brain to craft experiential wines that resonate with people.

What sets Domaine Serene apart from any other winery? 

Everything! Estate-driven, state-of-the-art gravity flow winery, space to make no compromises, owner support, and passion.

How do you approach creating a new wine blend or product? 

Everything should exist for a reason and should be intentional. “My goal isn’t to speak for the wines, but to let the wines speak for themselves.”

What is your favorite food and wine pairing? 

Oysters and Chardonnay.