Growing up in California with a father who managed vineyards, Powers winemaker, Jose Mendoza’s life in wine began earlier than most. In 1985 at 17 years old his cousin and vineyard manager, Eudoro Lucatero, hired him to come up and work alongside him and founder Bill Powers. Jose has worn nearly every hat there is to wear at Powers winery, from working in the vineyard, moving to cellar master, and eventually to head winemaker for one of the largest wineries in Washington State.
Alongside Bill, Eudoro, and eventually Mickey Dunne, Jose absorbed everything they had to offer, especially from Bill Powers. “For him, it was about doing the right thing and respecting the land. He had a passion for nature and always believed in me and the other employees” Jose recalls. Jose highly values the terroir in Washington State and especially at Powers winery.
In this growing region that is known to be windy and dry, Jose feels that organic fruit is better in quality than conventional fruit. Jose says, “We have an advantage with the growing conditions and terroir in Washington that eliminates a lot of the challenges that you see in other growing areas. It is close to ideal conditions for growing fruit organically”. The biggest challenge in growing and making wine from organic fruit is centered around timing. Organic fruit is delicate and requires very close monitoring, especially around harvest time. With extra care and attentiveness, Jose likes bringing in the fruit when the acid is high, and the PH is a bit lower.
We then are able to craft wines with a great depth of fruit and character along with being a true representation of this great growing region, without any added additives, or sulfites. Along with having high values on the terroir in Washington State, Jose has traveled extensively, learning from other winemakers in some of the most famous growing regions around the world. With recent visits to Argentina, Italy, and France a few times, Jose has learned about what makes these wines special and how he can apply these techniques to the wines at Powers.
Jose continually strives to educate himself and looks forward to learning from the challenges that each vintage provides. Natural Passion, Responsible Farming, PURE WINE!