Get to Know Sonoma Wine’s Globe-Trotting Ambassador

Find out what it's like to live the wine life on the road.

Jasmine HirschTasked with sales and marketing duties for her family’s Sonoma Coast vineyard and winery, Hirsch Vineyards, Jasmine Hirsch chronicles her gatherings and culinary adventures on Instagram. We caught up with Hirsch, also 2013 Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 tastemaker.

How often are you on the road?

About four months a year. After my father’s accident, I stopped traveling for six months. [Hirsch founder David Hirsch was critically injured in a tractor accident in May 2014. After spending four months in the ICU, he’s now back at the ranch.] And since the accident, I’ve also been running the winery day to day. So I’m trying to travel less.

What’s the best thing happening with wine in America right now?

The wine world ties -togeth-er a connection to the land and making things with your hands. People are hungrier for the land than we realize. They’re interested in the world of farming and want to talk to someone who lives it every day. Also, my impression is that the United States is the best place to be a wine drinker right now. We have amazing importers and domestic producers, the variety is unsurpassed and the difference in selection and quality across markets is lessening.

40 Under 40: America's Tastemakers

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Staying healthy is huge. It’s what we wine people love: to eat and drink, to talk to people, to stay up late. I do yoga and I meditate, which is really difficult on the road, but I try. When I go back to the vineyard, it’s the ultimate switching off.

What are some surprising destinations for wine/food lovers?

I would say Sweden and Fäviken—although I guess that’s not surprising for foodies. Cincinnati also has a pretty awesome burgeoning wine and food scene. In particular, the Boca Restaurant Group under amazing Kevin Hart. 

Do you ever eat alone?

Yes, I love eating at the bar at a great restaurant. Then I’m not annoying my friends by taking pictures. And when I’m alone, I talk to the staff and I’m able to geek out to the max. 

Describe your truffle face (below)…

My brother and I went for lunch where there would be truffles, and he took a picture of me and it was the exact same face I had made at a truffle meal a few years before. So I captioned it on Instagram as my truffle face. It’s fairly mischievous. It’s a face of pure joy.

Jasmine Hirsch

What gets more likes, pictures of people, wine or food?

First and foremost are insane landscape photos. A vineyard photo with the fog—people love that. I don’t post a lot of selfies, but I think people love them, too. And then any old, expensive wine tends to get a lot of likes…. On Instagram, more landscapes and wine. On Facebook, people respond more to landscapes and people.

What do you have the most of in your personal wine stash/cellar?

I buy a lot of Rhône. Loire wines are probably what I have most, and Austrian and German wines. If I love something, I like to buy three to six bottles every year. I have a lot of California wine in my cellar, too. I drink California Pinot Noir all the time, and of course my dad has an amazing cellar of wine from folks we’ve sold grapes to all these years.

What lies ahead for California wine?

I’m personally on a huge kick to spread a message for positive vintage variation in California. Wines should taste of the vintage in which they’re made. There should be a transparency of place and of vintage. Bigger picture, the business is just going to get more competitive, because everybody everywhere is making great wine. Consumers are becoming less loyal, so it’s more difficult to remain relevant…. You can never take your eye off the ball.

Follow Hirsch’s adventures on social media to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes >>> 

Published on February 3, 2016
Topics: Wine Enthusiast Q+A
About the Author
Virginie Boone
Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from California.

Contributing Editor Virginie Boone has been with Wine Enthusiast since 2010, and reviews the wines of Napa and Sonoma. Boone began her writing career with Lonely Planet travel guides, which eventually led to California-focused wine coverage. She contributes to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Sonoma Magazine, and is a regular panelist and speaker on wine topics in California and beyond. Email: vboone@wineenthusiast.net



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