About

Alex Pomerantz

Founder and Winemaker

Starting from a very young age, I’ve always been a lover of food, wine, and hospitality. After dipping my toes in the corporate world, I packed up my car in 2011 and drove cross country for a harvest internship in pursuit of starting a wine career in Northern California. Since that first internship, I worked for six years heading up the winemaking, management and sales at a winery in Sonoma before starting Subject to Change in 2017. The idea stemmed from my love of natural wine, the community that surrounds it and the infinite opportunity and canvas that the California landscape provides. Layering my passion for European natural wine and my knowledge of California viticulture and wine production, Subject to Change Wine Co was born as a way to connect my love of natural wine to my love of California, the land and the culture of growing and consuming locally.

‘If I were a grape’: I would be Chardonnay. Most people think I'm something I'm not. In the case of Chardonnay, most people think it's ripe and buttery when in reality it comes in many shapes and sizes and people are often surprised when they taste our Chardonnay as it presents ripeness while it maintains great freshness and complexity.

Favorite STC Wine: Sleepless Nights because it always keeps us on the edge of our seats - the growing and vinification are always a roller coaster. Even during elevage the wine has so many awkward phases until typically right before bottling when it begins to come into its own. The wine really underscores the magic of natural wine, on paper it makes no sense, we keep the faith every year and get rewarded - there's no simple explanation as to why, it just is.

Favorite Memory of Harvest 2021: Harvest began the day the winery was finally set up. We were moving in right as harvest was starting. We had barrels and tanks in the parking lot and the whole thing looked a bomb went off as we were moving out of our old winery into our new one. We'd been in this situation before and the core team knew we could dig out of a complicated situation. Seeing the team's satisfaction when in just one week's time the winery went from an empty shell/construction zone to a fully functional winery with fruit flowing onto the crush pad was extremely gratifying.

Jonathan Walton

Production Manager

I got my start in wine in the tasting rooms of the Salinas Valley as a bored toddler eating oyster crackers off the floor while my father and his friends casually imbibed taste after glass of the local red. Later in life I worked with organic foods, which lead to fine cheese which lead to the wines of France, Spain, and Italy, which in turn lead to the soils of the vineyards of Sonoma, Marlborough, Lodi and Monterey. After a bit of blood and sweat at Brooklyn Oenology, Martinelli, Huia, and Failla, I figured it was time to put my money where my mouth was… I also make my own wines under the Glassmaker Wine label since 2015, check em out.

‘If I were a grape’: I'd be a late harvest vidal blanc! or! a big old Muscadine or! the cotton candy grapes! (wine grapes id save for wine, these grapes are great for food!!)

Favorite STC Wine: 2019 Bang Bang Chardonnay, the best zero zero Chardonnay I’ve ever made or had! I will spend the rest of my career trying to do that again

Favorite Memory of Harvest 2021: Dylan the hero just jumping in the press in a swim suit to clean in every frigid august night when the cold bay wind made blew raw salty fog across the dark crush pad!

Kelsey Freeman

Operations Manager

I’ve always had an interest and curiosity in wine, and eventually made my way to STC as a harvest intern. Prior to the start of the pandemic, I spent my time running event logistics at various companies, including a summer camp for adults, a corporate team-building events company, and a film festival. These events, both large and small, set me up to help us as our Operations Manager.

‘If I were a grape’: I’d be Riesling - It may take a little bit for me to open up, but the longer you know me the sweeter I can be. Plus, I thrive in a cool,moderate climate and struggle in the hot, hot heat (very prone to sunburn).

Favorite STC Wine: FKA - I feel like FKA encompasses a lot of what makes STC what it is - trust, collaboration, and gut instinct. There's not a whole lot of Pinotage really anywhere outside of South Africa, and most of it is definitely not our style. However, Alex felt confident we could make it work and make it our own. Jon started off hesitant and doubtful, but treated it with the same TLC every wine lot gets. (The two of them balance each other as winemakers, just like the balance of the Pinotage, Chardonnay, and Merlot in the FKA.) This wine is truly one of a kind. Plus, this vineyard is especially beautiful with a phenomenal owner, so I can really taste my personal bias.

Favorite memory of 2021 harvest: I spent a lot of this past harvest hauling fruit, therefore I spent a lot of time with our growers. We'd walk through the vines together, watch our dogs play, and talk about why all of this hard work is worth it. One of my favorite moments was with the caring steward of our beloved Unsung Hero grapes - Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viognier. I brought my sister up to keep me company on the drive and Glenn was excited to share and teach us both more about Bonofiglio Vineyard. The three of us hopped on his tractor and drove on the main road while he told us stories about the land. We work with some pretty special people who grow some pretty special grapes, so it was wonderful to be able to share that moment with my sister.

Natalia Kaminski

Production & Operations Assistant

I’m passionate about engaging with brands and organizations that have a strong commitment to advancing environmental and social resilience. Joining STC, first as a harvest intern, allowed me to merge my love of getting my hands dirty with my interest in collaborating with winemakers and winegrowers to make wine consumption a more conscious custom. As an agricultural product, wine has the ability to transform the health of our planet and people. My various roles in production, operations, and marketing will continue to support STC’s holistic, inclusive approach to natural winemaking.

‘If I were a grape’: I’d be a unique combo of the 20-something varieties that were used for the 2021 piquette. I’d like to think I’m as resourceful and complex as the fruit used to make this beloved beverage. And, after all, there’s no place I’d rather be than at the beach, basking in the afternoon sun, bringing together the ones I love.

Favorite STC Wine: Pet Nap- as a sucker for both pet-nat and winery pups, this sparkling Sauvingon Blanc is a go-to for me. Although Louie (featured on label) and Rosie (Kelsey’s pup) weren’t too useful when it came to cleaning tanks and pressure washing equipment, they did indeed keep morale high through all the ups and downs of harvest. Needless to say, they deserve to be celebrated via a little pet-nat action.

Favorite memory of 2021 harvest: Foot treading! I previously worked at a winery where I didn’t have the chance to foot tread, so being able to do so multiple times throughout STC’s 2021 harvest was an absolute treat. Contrary to popular belief, it’s nothing short of a workout. No gym going necessary during harvest. Plus, it’s a fun break from cleaning tanks ;)