Work We Do: Marin Brennan, Bedell Cellars

Hi, my name is Marin Brennan. I’m the assistant winemaker at Bedell Cellars. I’ve been with the company for eight years. 

I was studying hospitality management at Johnson & Wales University and I was looking for a summer tasting room position. I was hired at Bedell, met our winemaker Rich (Olsen-Harbich) and wanted to learn a little bit more about the winemaking process so I could explain it to customers.

One way to get more immersed in the process was to work a harvest. So my first harvest was in 2011 and I’ve been in the cellar ever since.

We sit down in the morning and go over our plans for the day or even the week, so I can do everything the winemaker envisions and carry his plan out to fruition.

I do all of the in-house lab work. I measure pH, total acidity, sugar levels during harvest and the rate of fermentation. I learned it all on the job. I set up the bottling line whenever we have a new wine to be bottled.

Today we’re actually working on our 2017 reds to be bottled. They’re still very young. They’ve been in barrel since November, so a few months now. We’re doing something called a rack and return. So we’re just taking that out of barrel, putting it all into one tank and the next day putting it back, right back into those barrels.

It’s kind of unique to be a female in this industry. It’s kind of a male-driven industry. Although I’ve been mentored by a male figure, he has always supported me in my career and helped me move up the ranks to one day become a winemaker.

I would have to say right before a wine is bottled is my favorite, because I like to look back at my notes and see when we picked the grapes and the journey it took to get to that point.

Also, I taste it and see the expression and characteristics that come out of that vintage of that wine.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.