This week's Staff Spotlight is... Raechel! Raechel is our sales manager and in-house Sommelier. Raechel is an incredible asset to the Penns Woods team as she always brings a positive vibe and a world of wine knowledge everywhere she goes. Check out our Q&A.
Tell us about yourself.
I moved to PA six years ago from Colorado. While I miss my home state, I am so grateful for all the friends I’ve made & opportunities I’ve had here out East. And in more recent news, I just became a mom to a beautiful little girl named Lucy! I can't wait until she is running around with the rest of the vineyard kids!
How did you get into wine?
Denver is a well-known beer town so my interest in fermentation really began there. In my early 20s I managed bars creating beer & wine lists as well as cocktail menus but definitely didn’t pay much attention to wine until I attended a trade tasting put on for beverage directors- there were incredible wines there & it really opened up my eyes past the standard offerings. At the time I was running two locations for a Polish owner and I began incorporating more unique wines & varietals from Eastern Europe to complement the menu. It was the first time I really started to pay attention to flavor profiles as well as food and wine pairing. After moving to PA I attended the Wine School of Philadelphia, earning my Advanced Level Somm Cert in 2018. I also ended up pursuing my Level II Brewer Cert there as well through their Beer School. In 2019 I began working towards a winemaking certificate through Penn State.
What is your favorite wine? Is your wine of choice right now different?
I am obsessed with bubbles. Honestly if I drank nothing but Champagne for the rest of my life I’d be happy although since I definitely can’t afford that I look to Cava, Cremant de Bourgogne or Vouvray Brut to get me through. I’m a big fan of sparklers from Oregon as well. Bubbles are so versatile when it comes to food too. Friendly with salty & sweet as well as creamy dishes & those with a spicy kick- you really can’t go wrong with some bub. Since I’m expecting my first little one my drink of choice has been water out of heavy half-gallon Yeti but I have a special Grand Cru bottle my husband & I brought back from France last year I’m saving to celebrate once she’s here!
What do you enjoy most about Penns Woods?
I just love the opportunity to learn, grow & get your hands dirty. I love how each day is different- I could be working inside, outside or as the wholesale manager, meeting with different folks in & around Philly. Our tightknit group here are the most loving, hilarious & hard working folks around & I feel lucky to be a part of the growing Pennsylvania wine community.
Go behind the scenes with the Penns Woods Winery team in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.