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170 Wine & Spirit Purveyors • 70 of San Diego's Top Chefs
Celebrity Chefs • Cooking & Wine Tasting Classes
Big Bottle Auction • Continuous Food and Wine Tastings
Over 800 Wines • $50,000 Chef of The Fest Competition

Vic Bourassa

Winemaker, Bourassa Vineyards

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Growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts, Victor Bourassa learned winemaking from one of his Italian-immigrant grandfathers and inherited an entrepeneurial spirit from the other. The former made wine from grapes that he purchased at street markets; the latter built a grocery store from the ground up. Vic’s father eventually ran the store, operated a gas station and worked as a contractor-builder. Along the way, Vic learned to appreciate the value of hard work, optimism, integrity and tradition.

After serving in the Navy in Vietnam, Vic moved to Southern California. He earned his commercial pilot’s license from Orange Coast College, then made a career out of working in real estate and start-up companies. He visited the Napa Valley for the first time in the early 1980s and moved there permanently in 1996. He worked in a couple of wineries, took wine-related classes at UC Davis and Napa Valley College, and became an avid home winemaker and president of the Napa Valley Home Winemakers Association.

Then, in 1999, lightning struck. Vic recalls the bolt out of the blue.

“Robert Mondavi came to my house, introduced by a friend. We sat down in my backyard with some bruschetta and a bottle of 1998 Pinto Noir. I had made the wine in a funky little hand press. I bottled it that day and a made a label on my computer. So there we were, Robert Mondavi and I, drinking my wine and eating bruschetta.

“I had a glass, and he had one. Then, he had another…and another. After he finished the bottle, he declared that I should be making wine commercially. When I said I thought it was too late to start, he told me that he hadn’t begun until he was 52, and look what he’d accomplished. He basically took away my excuse – at 50 years of age.”

In October 2001 Vic released his first commercial vintage, the 2001 Bourassa Harmony3, a complex Bordeaux-style blend made from valley-floor Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and Howell Mountain Cabernet Franc.

Today Vic continues to grow Bourassa while continuing to raise a glass to toast his straightforward philosophy: Celebrate life!

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San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
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7556 Trade St.
San Diego, CA  92121

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