Bill Murray's roots in wine date back to his youth in Napa, California. It wasn't until he was living in Portbou, Spain in 1987, however, that his passion for wine was ignited by Rioja. The next year, he moved back to Napa to get involved in the wine industry.
He enrolled in the Napa Junior College Viticulture program, and then jumped in as harvest help at Buena Vista Winery As an avid cyclist racing bikes in the late 1980s, he met Larry Brooks, founder and winemaker of Acacia Winery. Larry finally caved to Bill's repeated requests to join the company. Then-principals Michael Richmond (currently at Bouchaine) and Brooks (currently at Tolosa) inspired Bill to make wine.
At Acacia, Bill learned to self-manage. He had total autonomy in winemaking, vineyard management, and scheduling. In 1996, Bill shifted from winemaking to vineyard management under vineyard manager Mary Maher (currently at Harlan Estate), who taught him to analyze and predict crop level. In 2000, Bill took the associate winemaker position at Bouchaine, continuing to work with Richmond, its new GM and winemaker. They worked largely with Bordeaux blends.
Bill recalls Michael's saying: "Winemakers are not artists; winemaking is a craft." Bill brings the full spectrum of practical experience to his craft; he's pruned vineyards, worked the bottling lines, in the cellar, the lab, the tasting room, managed vineyards and makes wine. When he's not at the winery, you'll find him cycling, swimming and enjoying food and wine with friends across the Northwest.