Our winemaker Keith Rolle is undeniably driven and passionate about wine and wine making.
Before completing his degree in Enology and Viticulture in Washington state, Keith apprenticed at the rock-star winery Long Shadows Vintners. Longshadows is a collective of seven top winemakers from around the world. It was at Long Shadows where Keith was able to rub shoulders and learn from some of the most highly regarded winemakers in the world.
Keith’s undergraduate studies were at the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He went on to graduate school at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Keith studied French at the prestigious Alliance Française in Paris, France and Spanish at the International Spanish Institute in Mexico.
A gifted hockey player from Duluth, Minnesota, Keith turned his athletic energies to running marathons. He’s completed 19 marathons in 19 different states and qualified for, and completed, the 2007 Boston Marathon. Keith has hitchhiked throughout the United States and Canada and on two occasions hopped freight trains (Burlington Northern) from Minnesota across the Continental Divide to the West Coast. He has been a FM radio disc jockey, community theater actor, a professional horse player and a wedding officiate. In 1997 Keith founded the Baja California Language College, a Spanish immersion school, in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Keith is a Certified Wine Judge through the American Wine Society. He is a member of the San Diego Urban Winery Alliance, the San Diego County Vintners Association, the American Wine Society, the Guild of Sommeliers and is credentialed through The Court of Master Sommeliers. He is also a member of the San Diego Tourism Authority, Ocean Beach Main Street Association and the Ocean Beach Town Council.
Keith speaks English, Spanish and French and is working on his Italian.
He has been a resident of Ocean Beach since 1997.
Chris Kelishes - Brigitte Taylor - Brittany Jones - Marc Breithaupt
His passion then turned to wine. Specifically, his new mission was to make wine. Unlike many self-taught wine makers or “garagistes,” Keith wanted to learn from bona fide professionals. A voracious student and lover of Washington wine, he moved to Washington state and enrolled as a full-time Enology student.
But after four years in the Pacific Northwest, sunny San Diego was loudly calling him home. So, he moved back and brought world-class Washington wine grapes along with him. In 2010, Gianni Buonomo Vintners was born.