Aug 132012

Ross during filming of The Winemakers

For those who are willing to make significant sacrifices to live their dreams, there are often many paths, some with more stones than others. When it comes to Ross Outon, winner of the 2009 PBS reality contest The Winemakers (Season 1), I am reminded of a quote from Morgan Freeman’s character Red Redding in the film The Shawshank Redemption, “Andy Dufresne, who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.” Winning The Winemakers reality show may sound like an express pass to winemaking nirvana but for Outon, his rocky path included start and stop filming for two years, divorce,loss of his house to the bank, loss of his job, the unexpected passing of his beloved dog, threats of legal actions to obtain his prize money, other prizes never honored and post harvest unemployment. But though it all Ross came out “clean,” at least until his arms are elbow deep in the first bins of black Pinot Noir grapes from the upcoming harvest. Here’s Ross Outon’s story. Continue reading »