Welcome to downcellar.

I grew up with wine on the table. It was part of the meal, part of family gatherings, part of life. There was nothing esoteric about it, nothing mystical, it simply was there. The simple bottles were enjoyed as much as the great, and life was celebrated with the pleasures of family and food. This was my introduction to wine.

I've learned a lot, over the years, about wine, and I'm still learning. Great wine can be utterly thrilling, and discovering new wines is always interesting and a pleasure. But I don't believe that wine has to be difficult to understand; Wine is for everybody to enjoy.

My passion for wine has led me on a long, circuitous, and eventful journey with, thankfully, no end in sight. I have been a student in the Wine & Spirit Education Trust curriculum, worked a harvest at a Napa winery, started and led wine tasting groups, traveled to major wine regions in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, South Africa, the United States and Canada, and tried, whenever possible, to taste as much as possible.

I was born in Southern California, and grew up in Eugene, Oregon. I graduated from the University of Oregon in 2006 with a Bachelors of Architecture. I spent a year abroad in France, and I studied in Italy for a term. Upon graduating, I moved to Cape Town, South Africa for six months. I lived in Vancouver, B.C. for over 3 years, before coming back to Oregon. Prior to settling in Portland, I hiked the Camino de Santiago with my wife.

Please feel free to comment on anything you read. If there is something you think I should write about, let me know.

Sebastien Rake