Transitioning From Vet To Winemaker
Winemaking was a family hobby but a desire to change careers has led one former veteran to viticulture. Robb Zimmel spent several years on a tour of the Middle East.
ZIMMEL: I called my wife on a satellite phone where I was in this wind tattered tent, I told her I have seen things that can't be unseen and I need to find something different when I get done and she understood. She said well why don't you do some wine-making. When I got back and landed on U.S. soil I went straight to the Vancouver, Washington State University campus and I did my first two years and when I couldn't do any more they said that's it, you're going to have to move so we sold our house and we picked up and moved over to the eastern side of Washington.
He finished up his last two years and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelors degree in enology and viticulture. He said during his tour it was hard to see the worst in humankind.
ZIMMEL: You kind of get jaded. You really, really do. This is a completely different environment of which I have not been accustomed to and the fact where you go to a winemakers dinner or you go to a tasting event and you're pouring out wine and there are these people that are completely invested in you, they believe in your product, they enjoy your wines, they show up with smiles on their faces and they're engaging and there's laughter and there's food and the first couple of times I was like this is completely strange for me but I'm telling you, I absolutely love it.
He says that has been crucial to his healing process.
That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.