Keith Nussbaum (’14)

At Whitman, I studied Economics with a minor in Spanish. Being in Walla Walla, I was quickly aware of and fascinated by how the small town of Walla Walla had established itself as an emerging top wine region of the country and as the wine capital of Washington State. After my summer job ended and before senior year started I spent August working at Reininger Winery.  During that single month teaser of wine industry work, I mostly did side work as a part of the production team and learned the basics of cellar life as I helped them prepare the facility for the upcoming harvest season (which meant hours upon hours of cleaning, scrubbing and any other form of tidying up). Before I knew it, school and swim was starting and I had to step away from the winery, but I knew I was starting to get sucked into something great. When graduation came around, I finally had the choice to peruse what interested me and I returned to the same winery to do my first harvest. A year later, and I’ve gone way deeper than I had originally thought I would. Having also worked in the tasting room while networking to learn about the bigger picture side of things (outside sales, distribution, retail). I’m now currently on the front end of working harvest at Novelty Hill/Januik winery where I’ve gone deeper into learning about winemaking and seeing it in practice. While I’m unaware of what the next step is for me, I’m certain it’s a step deeper into the world of wine. I learn something new every day and hope to continue to do so for a long time!