Sonja Harris is a native Californian who has made wine on three continents, drank wine on six continents, and is planning to travel to the seventh. She has run a startup and worked with many wineries and has helped start multiple small businesses.
When she is not typing away behind a computer, you might find her talking to customers on the phone, walking in the vineyard, or experimenting in the kitchen.
A graduate of University of the Pacific in Biology and History, Sonja followed her science dreams to a wine lab, where the balance of art and science in the cellar bewitched her. Doing post graduate work at UC Davis and traveling around the world, Sonja treated each new cellar as an intensive course in wine. The fundamentals at Chatom Vineyards in the Sierra Foothills; laboratory skills at Bogle Vineyards in the California Delta; white fermentation and yeast studies at Giesen Wine Estates in New Zealand; Vineyard stewardship under Warren Winiarski at Stags Leap Wine Cellars; and European wine styles at Portal Cia de Vines in Monsant and Prorate Spain. Between these trips, Sonja continued to work with the family business, and other small companies in her hometown of Sonora.
In 2009, Sonja decided to go back to school for her MBA. Not being able to pry herself out of the cellar, she worked at David Girard Vineyards and gained her eMBA from Sacramento State with her beloved Amicorum^37 Cohort at Intel.
Her tech dreams soon began and Sonja threw herself into Parch’d, an alcohol tech startup. While the venture did not takeoff (or at least not yet), her tech chops improved and her tie to the industry was forged.
Now Sonja splits her time amongst all of these worlds: consulting in wine and start-ups, writing on alcohol and business, and has her boots on the ground walking vineyards and rural companies. And as always she is having fun. Like being a Judge for the Bacon and Beer Classic.
In 2016, she published the Wine Lab Guide: Laboratory Procedures for Wine Analysis. In 2017, she followed this with a translation in Spanish –Guía de laboratorio para vino: Procedimientos de laboratorio para el análisis del vino.
Today the company that holds the majority of her focus is Conifer Communications, a Wireless Internet Provider in Tuolumne, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, and Stanislaus Counties.
In 2017, Sonja spoke at the Essential Elements –Ag Tech Broadband promoting Wireless Internet Technology in rural communities. (Video)
She resides in San Andreas, CA, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, around the world and around the dinner table.
Companies She’s Worked with:
Chatom Vineyards | Portal Cia de Vines, Spain | IDLines | Giesen Wine Estates, NZ | Harris Intellectual Properties | Bogle Vineyards | Fast Forward | Wells Wines | Searcher Magnet | Crystal Basin Cellars | Sierra Bridal & Party Rentals | Avisen Securities | Conifer Communications