Hi, I’m Sonja, also known as the Bootstrap Maven!
I am a native Californian who has made wine on three continents, drank wine on six continents, and is planning to travel to the seventh. I run a branch of a rural internet company and consult with other small businesses and have worked with many wineries.
When not typing away behind a computer, you might find me talking to customers on the phone, walking in the vineyard, checking out the garden, playing with my dog or experimenting in the kitchen to make yummy things for friends and family.
A graduate of University of the Pacific in biology and history, I followed my science dreams to a wine lab, where the balance of art and science in the cellar bewitched me. Doing post graduate work at UC Davis and traveling around the world, I 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, I continued to work with the family business, and other small companies in my hometown of Sonora, CA.
In 2009, I decided to go back to school for my MBA. Not being able to pry myself out of the cellar, I worked at David Girard Vineyards and gained my eMBA from Sacramento State with my beloved Amicorum^37 Cohort at Intel.
My tech dreams soon began and I threw myself into Parch’d. While the startup did not takeoff, my tech chops improved and my tie to the industry was forged.
Now I split my time amongst all of these worlds: consulting in wine and start-ups, writing on alcohol and business, and I have boots on the ground walking vineyards and rural companies.
In 2016, I published the Wine Lab Guide: Laboratory Procedures for wine Analysis. And in 2017, I 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 my focus is Conifer Communications, a Wireless Internet Provider in Tuolumne, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, and Stanislaus Counties.
In 2017, I spoke at the Essential Elements –Ag Tech Broadband promoting Wireless Internet Technology in rural communities. And I continue to represent rural internet needs at the state level as a Director of the Calaveras County Farm Bureau, sitting on the California Farm Bureau Federation Transportation, Trade and Technology Issue Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Board of Expert Advisors of the California Emerging Technology Fund.
She and her husband reside in San Andreas, CA, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, outdoors and around the dinner table.
Companies I’ve 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 Communication | Mindful Compass
Committees and Non-profits I’m involved with:
- PEO Chapter LD, Jackson CA
- Director Calaveras County Farm Bureau
- Board Director of the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce
- California Farm Bureau Federation Transportation, Trade and Technology Issue Advisory Committee
- Member of the Board of Expert Advisors of the California Emerging Technology Fund