Kat Doescher

Kat Doescher

Lake Sonoma Winery (Winemaker)

Kat Doescher grew up in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles, “a land of tumble weeds and shopping malls,” in her own words. Growing up, she always had a mind for science, but didn’t focus on it until taking chemistry in high school. Upon graduating from high school in 1994, she forsook Southern California by venturing north to Humboldt State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry there in 1999. Kat has remained in the northern part of the state ever since.

Her original interest in environmental sciences waned because, as she says, “I had spent many years in a traditional environmental lab job that stressed me out and kept me locked inside.” A vintner friend inspired Kat to consider a career in winemaking, and her background in science led to her starting in that direction by obtaining a position as a wine analyst at Gallo Winery’s Sonoma facility. She then moved on to Lake Sonoma and Valley of the Moon Wineries as Enologist in 2006 and was promoted to Assistant Winemaker at the latter winery in early 2014. To further cement her credentials as a winemaker, she completed the Winemaking Certificate program at the University of California, Davis, that same year. Kat was named Winemaker for Lake Sonoma Winery and West Coast Wine Partners in late 2014. In 2016, she became Winemaker for all of Madrone Estate Winery’s production. This makes her responsible for the wines of Valley of the Moon, Lake Sonoma, and Madrone Estate. Among the varietals she produces are Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and red and white blends.

Kat has an interesting philosophy with regard to her wines, as she says, “Wines aren’t just for pairing with food. With the rise of social media they’re also for pairing with experiences.” She also recognizes that her wines must be competitive, noting that, “The biggest challenge that I have seen for California winemakers is distinguishing yourself in a big field. There are so many great wineries producing fabulous wines out there that finding a way to make your wines stand out is something you have to constantly be working for.”

Kat resides in Petaluma.