You could say that Scott Remmenga knows winemaking from the outside in.
The co-owner of and winemaker for Alapay Cellars in Avila Beach, California, was introduced to wine in a somewhat unusual manner. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1986 with a degree in Graphic Communications, he opened a printing company with his father.
Before long, The Printing Connection had carved out a niche as a printer of bottle labels for wineries near and far. The idea of making wine “was something I’d had in the back of my mind for some time,” Remmenga says, so when he and his father sold the printing business in 1999, he decided to pursue his dream.
Remmenga was fortunate to have a couple of very experienced vintners as mentors, and they taught him the importance of having top-quality fruit with which to work. By spending a great deal of time meeting growers and developing relationships, grape sources opened up for Remmenga, and he was on his way.
In the fall of 2001, he released his first wines – a Viognier, a Pinot Noir and a Syrah, totaling 1,200 cases.
Remmenga’s next wise move was to marry well. Rebecca, who had been a successful general sales manager for a major radio station in the San Joaquin Valley, moved to the Central Coast. When the two met, they hit it off immediately. Less than a year later, they married, and Alapay Cellars had its marketing maven.
Today, Alapay Cellars is even better known for its wines than its labels.