Marta Kraftzeck

Marta Kraftzeck

Scheid Vineyards (Winemaker)

As is the case for many winemakers, Marta Kraftzeck’s path to winemaking began with a degree in science. She earned a B.S. degree in Botany from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1979, the year her mother passed away. To quote Marta, she then did “one of those 25-year-old things” by opting to travel around the world for a year and one half. While staying in Belgium during the trip, she had the opportunity to pick grapes in the Languedoc region of France. That experience and the associated realization that harvesting grapes was one step in the process of turning an agriculture product into something, viz., wine, that you could enjoy for years was an epiphany for her. She fell in love with viticulture, knowing that what you did with the vines each year defined the quality of grapes produced in subsequent years.

Returning to the U.S., Marta furthered her academic training by earning an M.S. degree in Enology/Viticulture from the University of California, Davis, in 1983. Her first job was with the extension service of the UC System, working with Pete Christianson in Fresno, but her desire to return home took her to Monterey. There, she sought work on the viticulture side of the industry but in her own words, “due to my age and the 'good ol' boys' attitude of agriculture at that time,” she accepted a job as assistant winemaker at Monterey Peninsula Winery. She was promoted to winemaker, but after five years, moved to Chateau Julien in Carmel Valley as its winemaker/viticulturist, a position she held for 20 years. In 2009 she moved to Scheid Vineyards, initially working as production manager but subsequently moving over to the winemaking side.

For some 20 years, Marta was the only woman winemaker in Monterey County until Annette Danzer (née Hoff), winemaker at Cima Collina, arrived on the scene. Fortunately, Marta was comfortable being one of the “boys,” and everyone knew who she was at meetings of growers because she was the only woman in attendance.

Marta is very committed to educating consumers about wine, and in this context teaches for Elderhostel International, aka “Roads Scholars”, became a Certified Wine Educator in 2007, and a Certified Sommelier in the following year. In addition, during the past two years she has pursued studies in the Masters of Wine program, travels to wine regions throughout the world, and participates in wine-related international conferences. She is especially interested in climate change in different countries of the world and its influence on viticulture.