Ashlee McRae, Wine Consultant
What is your desert island wine region where the rest of your life will be spent drinking the wines of this region only and why?
If I had to spend the rest of my life drinking wine from only one place, my choice hands down is Priorat, up in the very northeast corner of Spain. The vines there are truly ancient, cultivated by Carthusian monks as early as the 12th century. The old vines, grow in in the unique, mineral laden Licorella soil, yield my favorite styles of both red and white wines. It’s also not a coincidence that two of my favorite varietals are Grenache and Grenache Blanc, and when sourced from this region they are always a home run. This region is definitely a rising star in the wine world.
What do you love the most about being in the wine industry?
I love the rich and deep history of wine. It all started while studying Italian culture and history in Rome, and it was love at first sip. It was there I realized how integrated wine is within history, art, even poetry. It dates back to ancient times, even having its own Greek God Dionysus who, like myself, was also a lover of peace. Wine inspired me to continue travelling all over the world to discover the local gems that just don’t make it to the U.S. market. I eventually realized I wanted to turn my passion into my career and never looked back. What I enjoy about being in the industry is the opportunity to constantly experience the best wines being made all over the world, and meeting the winemakers who create the wines. Learning the story behind the vineyards, what motivates the wine-makers and what path led them to do what they do is all part of the experience. Being able to share all this with other wine lovers is the driving force behind what I do.