family background / Maureen graduated from Walla Walla Community College’s viticulture and enology program and joined Shaw Vineyards as a viticulturist in 2018. She is the daughter of Carol and John O’Callaghan.
I started college originally with a chemistry focus at Washington State University, then went into soil sciences and then viticulture and enology through the program at Walla Walla Community College. I wanted to do something practical and physical instead of academic.How did you get your start in ag?
My dad works in water distribution for growers and I was exposed to ag pretty early on in my life. I grew up with a pretty deep understanding and appreciation of what ag is to the state and I wanted to contribute.
I really fell in love with classes. I also had an opportunity to go to Australia for a year and worked for a winery as an enologist.
That year working with wine reaffirmed my feeling that I wanted to be outside working with the vines. The plants are where my heart was telling me to go. So, I decided to return to the Columbia Basin and try my hand finding a spot with a vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA.