John began by studying winemaking in the mid-1990s, taking courses at U.C. Davis and reading every technical manual he could find. By the fall of 1998, he and Peggy had converted the basement of their Seattle home into a winery where they fermented and aged 100 cases of wine for their own enjoyment. Encouraged by the success of their first vintage, John made 350 cases of Tre Fanciulli in 1999. JM Cellars was officially launched.
John moved to Walla Walla for the 2000 harvest giving him the opportunity to work in the vineyards and practice his craft along with such acclaimed winemakers as Charlie Hoppes, Mike Januik, and Holly Turner. Later that year, he and Peggy established a permanent home for JM Cellars in Woodinville – a seven acre property known as Bramble Bump.
John’s goal was to gradually increase JM’s production of high quality wine. While juggling two careers, he expanded the production facility, honed his winemaking skills and cultivated relationships with select vineyard owners. In 2006, John was finally able to leave his technology career behind and focus solely on JM Cellars.