Alumni Profile: Steve Matthiasson

Steve Matthiasson

Year and degree of graduation: 
1996, M.S. Horticulture (Pest Management of Trees and Vines) 

Current job title/company: 
Owner, Matthiasson Family Vineyards 
Partner, Premiere Viticultural Services 

What have you been up to since you graduated? 
Growing grapes, making wine, consulting for other vineyards, and trying to help our industry be even more sustainable. 

Do you feel your UC Davis experience benefited your career?  
Absolutely. In addition to the education that I still rely upon, my long-term relationships with the faculty have helped my consulting practice immeasurably, and I am still in close contact with many of the professors who have not retired yet. In fact, we started our consulting company based on a referral from Dr. Andy Walker, which was a life-changing phone call.  

What is the most rewarding part of being in the industry/your job? 
Helping others find a place in our industry and watching them make an impact is very exciting.  

What are some of the most difficult challenges you have faced in the grape or wine industry? 
Invasive pests, climate change, economic’s never easy.  

Is there anything you would like to share with current UCD V&E students? 
Plan to continue your education in the workplace—it takes time to master a profession and your graduation is the beginning of the next phase of learning. It's important to find mentors and try to be useful and help them in return. And maintain your relationships back at UC Davis. 
How has the pandemic affected you? 
It changed our business to more direct-to-consumer shipping of wines, and the pandemic educated many consumers that wine is something that can be delivered to your door.  

What is one unique thing about you? 
I’m a winemaker who loves garden-fresh food even more than wine, which is why we make so many unusual historical grape varieties into wine. I’m fascinated with growing things and seeing what they taste like. It’s also why our wines are so transparent to the grape, to us the grapes are like farmer’s market produce.