Sweet Valley Winemaker
Josh McDaniels first entered the wine business at the age of 15 when he began volunteering at local wineries; including Mannina Cellars, while still balancing his time between high school classes and athletic practices. After a few years of this he came to his Dad and handed him an envelope with $1,000 to start a new winery. He told his Dad that he was serious about the wine industry and wanted to pursue his dream making wine on his own and thus became the birth of Sweet Valley Wines. During Josh’s senior year of high school, Sweet Valley bottled their first wine, 105 cases of the 2005 Double Barrel Red which sold out shortly after its release.
After completing high school, Josh enrolled at the Enology and Viticulture Center in Walla Walla, and finally started to work full time for long time mentors, Leonetti Cellar, in addition to creating the wines at Sweet Valley. In 2009 Josh graduated from the college in Walla Walla and feels the mentoring and opportunity to work with Leonetti was completely priceless. “Being involved in almost every part of this winery has been an incomparable experience with a family that has achieved so much, and has treated me so well.”
In a continual pursuit to broaden his knowledge and education, Josh applied for and received an internship in early 2010 with Paul Hobbs Wines at Vina Cobos Winery in Mendoza, Argentina. Paul Hobbs, like Leonetti and the Figgins Family, is another legend in the wine industry and crafts cult wines in California and Argentina as well as providing consulting services to a select locations around the globe. During his time studying abroad, Josh continued to grow and refine his knowledge and expertise in the art of winemaking, with the added benefit of experiencing an amazing and new culture. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and Josh returned to Walla Walla and incorporated his teaching in Argentina to our wines at Sweet Valley.
Today at 24 years old, Josh continues to strengthen the wine portfolio at Sweet Valley and Righteous Wines. He has become known as an entrepreneur and a leader for a younger generation of high quality winemaking and growing. He continues to work with the Figgins Family (Leonetti Cellar) on their new Figgins Estate property and manages his own 5 acres of Walla Walla vineyard land. Josh is very involved with a non- profit organization, Embracing Orphans, which helps orphanages all around the world. His passion for and involvement with Embracing Orphans led Josh to craft a high end wine red wine called, Monesia’s Song, which will be benefitting this organization and children around the world. When not engrossed with developing his new and future wines, you will most likely find Josh participating in extreme sports, tasting wine, hanging out with friends, family and his dog Murphy, and from time to time even pouring wine in our tasting room!
To contact our winemaker Josh, email him at Josh@SweetValleyWines.com