Mark took a position at Carmenet Winery, high atop Moon Mountain in the Sonoma Valley. Hired on as a cellar worker he quickly moved from there to the lab and was able to experience and gain knowledge of many aspects of the winemaking process. While at Carmenet Mark took most every course offered by UC Davis’ extension program and it was during a four-day course in Viticulture that he met a group of young winemakers from Santa Barbara County. Their passion and excitement for this up and coming wine region was highly infectious.
Mark and Wendy visited the Santa Ynez Valley many times over the next year and when Bryan Babcock advertised a position for an assistant winemaker, Mark jumped at the opportunity. Santa Barbara County had yet to gain much national attention and the Sta. Rita Hills had not yet been established as an appellation and they found themselves quickly becoming a part of this relatively new winegrowing region. Mark stayed on at Babcock for five years and spent the last two as Bryan’s Associate Winemaker, in charge of all winemaking responsibilities. While at Babcock, Mark began a new winemaking project on the side with his great friend and colleague, Kenneth Gummere.
They started with a single barrel of Pinot Noir from the 2000 vintage and with one delicious wine under their belts formed the partnership Kenneth-Crawford Wines. Over the next ten years they produced some of the regions finest and most sought after Pinot Noir, Syrah and Grenache. Never wanting a dull moment and always looking to broaden his winemaking knowledge, Mark recently took over the winemaking responsibilities at Tres Hermanas Winery. Now with the opportunity to add some Italian varietals to his repertoire of wines, Mark is excited to see how this next chapter of his winemaking story unfolds.