Cole's love for wine originates from his love for agriculture. Prior to his career in wine, he worked as an organic vegetable farmer, as an edible landscaper, and as manager of a Demeter Seed Library (a non-profit seed saving project). Cole found viticulture when he started working for Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. Cole moved to Victoria, Australia where he worked in vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula. Crafting Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Shiraz at Paringa Estate Winery. Cole then returned to Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard for four years, as Assistant Winemaker applying and gaining new perspectives of vinification and tradition. Then, an opportunity arose to work in Central Otago, New Zealand for Prophet's Rock and Amisfield Winery in 2017. It was in New Zealand, that Cole discovered many techniques for crafting clean natural wine. Cole returned to the Santa Cruz Mountains to launch Madson Wines in Spring 2018. Winemakers such as: Ken Burnhap, Jeff Emery, Lindsay & Jamie McCall, Sam Hambour, Paul Pujol, Stephanie Lambert and André Lategan have inspired Cole to make California wines that express terroir with poise and concentration.
KEN SWEGLES & ABBEY CRYSTAL
Abbey and Ken are what some might call a "power couple" in the Santa Cruz Mountain wine community. Both Abbey and Ken have devoted their lives to farming, crafting and tasting the best wines of the world.
Abbey found wine while attending grad school at UCSC. Abbey quickly delved deep into the local wine community, working for Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards and farming at Branciforte Creek Vineyard. Abbey was brought on under Randall Grahm at Bonny Doon Vineyards where she worked in the cellar and the laboratory. Abbey currently is farming Ascona Vineyard while also selling wine for Vintage 59 Imports.
For Ken, the world of wine began as a harvest intern at Byington Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 2007. He later began working in a small family vineyard in Zayante gaining experience that provided a foundation in pruning and canopy management. In 2008, he worked vintage for David Bruce before studying Viticulture at UC Davis. He eventually became a vineyard foreman for David Bruce and learned a wealth of knowledge from their consultant Mark Greenspan. He branched out to experience other California appellations and terroir by spending two years working for Williams Selyem in the Russian River Valley. He returned to the Santa Cruz Mountains at Rhys Vineyards in 2012. After completing 5 seasons of viticultural work, Ken was hired on as Assistant Winemaker to Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. With two years of cellar time at SCMV, Ken joined Coastal Range Vineyards- managing over 100 vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Clara Valley. Passion as a driving force, Ken has found time to work for Coastal Range Vineyards, manage vineyards for Madson and start Rhizos Vineyard Consulting.