Kate Ayres

Years of Participation

2019, 2023

From a young age, Kate Ayres has always held a strong interest in the sciences. Her love of animals led her to UC Davis and the Animal Sciences department, but she quickly adjusted her major to Viticulture and Enology. In her junior year, Kate took the fall quarter off to work for Cakebread Cellars. This time affirmed her love for winemaking, and she continued to work at Cakebread Cellars for another vintage. While there, Kate was presented with the great opportunity to work in New Zealand as a harvest intern on brands such as Astrolabe and Jules Taylor.

Between the years of 2009-2011, Kate worked harvests across the world. In 2009, Kate’s winemaker journey abroad took her to harvest in the south of Portugal, helping her to expand her knowledge by working with varieties common in the Alentejo region. Kate returned home to Oregon in 2010 for a brief stint to work harvest for Bethel Heights before returning to her travels abroad working the 2011 harvest in the Barossa Valley in Australia.

In 2011, Kate returned to the states and took a job with The Hess Collection Winery as Associate Winemaker. She remained there until 2016 at which point she traded in Cabernet Sauvignon for Pinot Noir and joined Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. She worked in tandem with Founding Winemaker Lynn Penner-Ash and assumed the role of winemaker at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars in the Spring of 2018.