If you’ve attended any of our wine pairing dinners over the last few months and enjoyed what you tasted, you can thank our Wine Director, Nathan Rose! Nathan joined our team in March of 2018 and since then, he’s brought a love for wine and winemaking to Rootstock and Vine.

Get to know Nathan a little better this week in our latest blog post.

What’s Your Background?

I started barbacking back in England when I was 16 years old. I was taught by skilled restaurateur team Dom and Tom, and was given the ability to travel the world with them. Under their guidance, I learned how to craft cocktails. (I absolutely love crafting a good cocktail!)

I worked in bars throughout college, and throughout that time, developed my affinity for wine.

This was a big calling for me, it’s so much more intricate than some of the other skills and interests I had. And wine was what called me to Rootstock and Vine.

I originally applied for a server position, knowing they already had a sommelier on staff, but hoped that I could learn from him. While he didn’t stay in the position, I did have the opportunity to meet local Woodstock resident Trevor Wright, an England expat and sommelier. Mr. Wright took me under his wing, and I started meeting with him once a week to help me practice my craft. He directed my studies, which allowed me to have the confidence to take the exam.

The sommelier exam is truly a test for people who work within the profession. If you’re not working with wine 8-10 hours a day, it would be a pretty tough project to overcome. Working with wine every day, and under Trevor Wright’s tutelage; I was just really lucky.

I’m thrilled to say that I passed in the top three! (A little known fact: The scores aren’t revealed. So if you don’t pass, you have to start all over again without knowing which questions you missed.)

Taking Control of Wine Dinners at Rootstock

Even before the exam, I’ve been orchestrating the wine dinners here at Rootstock and Vine for the last few months. Working here has been an absolute stepping stone for my career–as of now, I’m the youngest sommelier in Georgia, but my goal is to be the youngest sommelier in the world. (Which will come to fruition if I pass the remaining tests within the next 6 years.) I plan to take the second level test within the next few months, so I’m on my way.

My current title here at Rootstock and Vine is Wine Director and Sommelier. Any professional that works with the sales of wine can be called a sommelier; however, to be certified in the court of winemaking via the test allows an individual to back up their knowledge.

I found my passion in wine here at Rootstock, and I have been nothing but welcome since I walked through those doors. I love working here, and the job and the people make it what it is every day.

What are your favorite regions for wine?

As much as I love wine, wine is something I tend to enjoy along with a meal.

As far as regions, I toured around Champagne last year, touring five different homes in the area. I was visiting France with a local sommelier who was kind enough to offer me a behind-the-doors tour, and many of the things I learned there are things I would never have learned without being on site.

For instance, that’s where I learned that England has started to make wine that rivals the wine produced in the Champagne area. (A fact I shared with our Wine Lovers Newsletter a few weeks back!)

What are your favorite types of wine?

I’m a fan of big reds and Bordeaux blends, and I like to see how different countries explore that. I recently had a South African blend that I thoroughly enjoyed. You can have the same grapes, but the terrier and the method can change a wine completely, offering an entirely new life.

The cool thing about wine is that you can drink the same grape from bottle to bottle, but if vines are moved slightly leftward or rightward, you encounter an entirely new wine. Pinot Noir in France is different from Pinot Noir in Napa.

It’s almost impossible to learn everything about wine, and that’s what makes it interesting. The fact that it’s always growing and always changing is part of the challenge.  

What’s Your Favorite Thing About Downtown Woodstock?

I love that you can just walk down the streets, and they’re alive with people. You have live music, people walking up and down window shopping, meeting strangers, and making future best friends. It’s very different from other areas where I’ve worked (downtown Atlanta, for instance), and there’s a very community-driven relationship that surrounds Woodstock.

And the fact that I live only one exit away from Rootstock doesn’t hurt!

We’re absolutely thrilled for Nathan and love having him as part of the Rootstock and Vine team. We can’t wait to watch his love for wine and winemaking continues to flourish! Cheers to you, Nathan!

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