Employee Spotlight – Payton Frantzen, Cellar Master
Q. How long have you been working at Tinte Cellars and tell us about how you got into the wine business.
A. I’ve been at Tinte for just over two months. Before joining the wine industry, I had a career in fashion design. In 2019 I started taking wine classes in my free time, which quickly solidified the idea to pivot to winemaking. I enrolled in Walla Walla Community College’s Enology and Viticulture program in 2020 and gradated this June. My background in design has definitely influenced the way I think about making wine. What I love about both industries is that they are about creative problem-solving and the interaction between art and technical execution.
Q. What do you love most about working in the winery?
A. I love smelling the barrels before we rack the wine to blend. You can really smell the personality of each vineyard. I also have the unique experience of being in the tasting room. Being involved with the wine from the production to pouring it in the glass has given me a great big picture context of what we are trying to achieve as winemakers and as a company. I can’t wait until harvest; it’s my favorite time of year!
Q. What is your favorite Tinte Cellars wine?
A. I really like the 2018 Irish Eyes. GSM blends contain my favorite grape, Mourvèdre, and pair well with just about everything!
Q. What’s your favorite free time activity?
A. In my free time I like backpacking, oil painting, and taking wine classes.
Q. Tell us about your dream vacation?
A. Since I was a little kid I’ve always wanted to go to Japan. My dream trip would involve snowboarding and bringing an empty suitcase to take back all the Japanese outdoor gear I’d buy.
Q. Tinte Cellars supports many nonprofit organizations. What nonprofit means the most to you?
A. It’s a tie between the Alliance of Women in Washington Wine and Seattle JazzED. The wine industry, as a whole, has been male dominated for quite some time and especially on the production side. Having a female support system through the Alliance mentorship program has been an invaluable resource for me entering the industry. I was in jazz band growing up, so Seattle JazzED is close to my heart. Being in jazz band truly changed my life and I want every kid who loves music to have that opportunity.
We’ve got the best winery team in the business and want to give a shout out to Payton for all she does, and her love of Tinte Cellars wine. Well done Payton!