Back to top

Travis Van Caster

Travis Van Caster

Assistant Winemaker

E. & J. Gallo Winery

Travis' day-to-day work is centered around production winemaking (currently dessert wines - Port and Sherry style - and Merlot).  This work cycles around the growing season -- prior to harvest, he make trips to the vineyards to assess the fruit quality and the growing site for the grapes which will be going into the wines.  As the season progresses, the trips turn into a chance to make picking decisions.  After the grapes are harvested, they arrive at the winery.  Here, his responsibilities are making sure to have a plan in place to deal with all incoming fruit and to provide processing instructions to the cellar crew.  At this time, he will make decisions about what yeast to use, fermentation temperatures, pump-over regimes, thermovinification, etc.  After harvest, Travis will strategically age wines with or without the use of oak, micro-oxygenation, or other enological tools.  He is then responsible for creating blends targeted toward specific consumer groups for each product, consistent with previous vintages for existing products.  This year, Travis will be responsible for delivering roughly 5,000,000 gallons of wine on style, on time and on cost.

In addition to his day-to-day production work, Travis takes part in many exciting projects and works with members of many other divisions at Gallo.  These projects have included: new product development, cellar first pass quality, partnering to develop software tools, renovating and repairing micro-ox units, helping to develop new analytical standards, and an international trip to assess new winemaking technologies.