It was a perfect fit, "The passion and enthusiasm for the new property was contagious and I knew I had found my home," Cortney elucidated. Cortney spent 3 years at Odette Estate before being promoted to Enologist in June 2016 at PlumpJack Winery. Cortney credits her success to the team at Odette, and is eager to begin her first harvest in another cabernet sauvignon powerhouse appellation, Oakville.
Cortney grew up surrounded by cherry, peach, and walnut orchards in the small farming town of Linden, California. She attended Fresno State, where she majored in Biology with great ambitions of becoming a pharmacist. However, as a freshman, she toured the winery facility at Fresno State and fell in love. It was the perfect combination of her two passions: agriculture and science. So, the next day, she went to the admissions office, changed her major, and graduated in 2010 with a degree in Viticulture and Enology.
Following graduation, Cortney immediately set her sights on a southern hemisphere harvest at Indevin, a large custom crush facility in Marlborough, New Zealand. While working there, Cortney worked with several white grape varietals, expanding her knowledge of white wines in a diverse climate from her native California. When she returned to the States in August 2011, Cortney interned at Lynmar Estate, working under Winemaker Bibiana González Rave — Cortney’s role model and mentor. Bibiana taught her the basics of managing a cellar and working with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from vineyard to barrel. The following year, Cortney returned to Indevin and Lynmar, each allowing her to take on a more prominent role to refine her skills. After the 2012 harvest at Lynmar, she wanted to lay down some roots and cut her teeth with a small, cutting-edge winery, working with people who shared her passion and dedication for making spectacular wine. It didn’t take long for Cortney to find that place. In 2013, she joined the PlumpJack family at Odette Estate, which, at the time, was a brand new winery with just one harvest under their belts. Not knowing what to expect from the wines since they were still young, it only took one sip for Cortney to realize they were remarkable. It was a perfect fit.
After three years at Odette Estate, in 2016, Cortney jumped ship to PlumpJack Estate, where she started as Enologist. She was promoted to Assistant Winemaker in 2019 and continues working alongside Winemaker Aaron Miller.