Travis Scott Joins Handley Cellars as Tasting Room Manager
Recently we welcomed Travis Scott to the Handley team as our Tasting Room manager. He brings a fresh perspective to the operation, along with an appreciation for some of our time-honored traditions, and has a keen sense of how to merge the two into an increasingly more enjoyable experience for our visitors. Recently, we sat down with Travis to learn a little bit more about him.
Where did you grow up?
I’m from Willits, a third generation Mendocino County resident. I have three brothers, and graduated from Willits High. Both of my parents owned small businesses, and I grew up working in a family business environment.
Tell us about your first memorable wine experience.
I never really liked wine prior to working in the industry. When I got my first job out of school, which happened to be in a winery, my boss asked me what my favorite wine was and I answered “None!” He took me to the tasting bar and had me try all of the wines. I really liked the Zinfandel. I had to acquire a taste for the whites.
What other experience from the wine world do you bring with you to Handley Cellars?
I worked for Steve Ledson in Sonoma Valley for five years, then I went over to Kuleto Estate in St. Helena. It was while working at Kuleto Estate that my education about the world of wine really started. I met Janelle Weaver there, and Lisa Harrington. Janelle was the Estate Chef and Lisa was a close friend of hers. I learned a lot about enjoying wine and food from the two of them. At lunch, I would sit in the kitchen with my laptop, watching and listening to Janelle, who taught me about cooking and pairing with wine. That’s where my passion for the lifestyle of food, wine, and entertaining began. Along the way, I learned that while this was all the stuff that makes the wine industry fun to explore and look glamorous, there is real work behind the scenes, and I find that I enjoy that part just as much.
What other experience do you bring to Handley?
Both of my parents’ small businesses were about sales to the public. That’s where I learned, and have always retained, the importance of taking good care of every guest or client.
What are your favorite Handley wines, and your favorite food and wine pairing?
My absolute favorites are the sparkling wines! My second favorite is the Gewürztraminer. Paired with Thai food, there’s nothing like it.
What, in your view, is different about Anderson Valley, with regard to the wine?
I’ve found that the wines from Anderson Valley each have their own distinct character. In my opinion, wines of the same variety from other regions taste much the same, but in Anderson Valley there are so many stylistic differences.
What changes do you envision for the Handley Cellars Tasting Room?
I think we could elevate our tasting experience by offering not only current releases, but also some of Milla’s library wines, collected over the past 32 years. I’d also like to push the Handley emphasis on food pairings more into the forefront, along with our extensive collection of recipe cards.