MEET JAY WILDEROTTER
Philip “Jay” Wilderotter never thought he would grow up to be a Winemaker. Now he is the creative force behind Wilderotter Vineyard and has been a veteran in the wine industry for the past 26 years producing sought-after grapes and award-winning wines in the Sierra Foothills of Plymouth, California. Jay would be the first to share he developed a passion for wine after getting his hands dirty. But he initially started down a much different path.
Born in Ocean Township, New Jersey, Wilderotter graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy as a Pilot and flew KC-135 aircraft refueling tankers in Desert Storm. After fulfilling his military commitment, his wife Maggie encouraged him to find a new and much safer “hobby” that would keep him on the ground and closer to home.
Soon after, the Wilderotter’s visited Shenandoah Valley, fell in love with the area, and purchased 40 lush acres in Plymouth with the intent that Jay would become a grape grower. He took courses in viticulture and enology at the University of California, Davis to acquire the skills that would enable him to produce high-quality wine grapes. Jay planted Zinfandel, Syrah, Barbera, and Viognier grapes as his first offering.