Edmondo Belisomo has always been captivated by the winemaking process. Growing up in the rolling vineyards of Italy, his fascination with the transformation of grapes into fine wine came naturally. But the desire to challenge himself and push beyond the familiar led him on a remarkable journey across continents.
At 24, after completing his bachelor’s degree, Edmondo ventured across the Atlantic to the United States for his international winery internship. His internship hosting company Conn Creek Winery, is located in the heart of California’s winemaking region. This was Edmondo’s 6th harvest, a pivotal moment in his pursuit of knowledge and experience.
The decision to join the Communicating for Agricultural Exchange Program (CAEP) wasn’t just about refining his winemaking skills but also an opportunity to grow as an individual and learn about people and the industry in the United States. “My goal was to challenge myself working abroad, far from my family, my friends, and everything I was used to, and this is why I joined CAEP,” Edmondo shared.
Conn Creek Winery became his canvas for exploration. Edmondo immersed himself in every facet of the American winemaking process, relishing the opportunity to learn and grow. “I enjoyed working for Conn Creek since I had the opportunity to experience and improve my skills in all the duties of winemaking, from grapes to wine,” Edmondo shared. “I love how every winery does things in a different way. This year, for example, I have worked on barrel fermentation for the first time. I believe hands-on training is a mandatory step to become a winemaker.”
His testimonial echoed the invaluable lessons he’d acquired. The people he’d met became pillars of wisdom, shaping his perspective on winemaking and life itself. But perhaps the most significant revelation came from within. Amidst the vines and barrels, Edmondo uncovered layers of resilience, adaptability, and self-discovery he hadn’t known existed.
CAEP wasn’t just about training; it was a gateway to exploration. Edmondo traveled all throughout California, exploring its varied landscapes from the serene shores of Lake Tahoe to the vibrant streets of San Francisco. Surfing in the Pacific, savoring the Napa lifestyle, and relishing the diversity of food and culture, each experience enriched his journey. “I am sure this experience will be very useful for my future, both for the things I learned about winemaking and for the people I have met, but mostly for the things I have learned about myself. I recommend this experience not only for the working, but also for traveling,” Edmondo said.
As he looked ahead to becoming a winemaker back home, Edmondo carried with him the imprints of Conn Creek, CAEP, and the boundless potential of his own journey. “I am sure that CAEP helped me achieve my goals through this experience, and this is why I would recommend it.”
If you are interested in traveling the world and growing your career in winemaking, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or visit our website www.caep.org to apply.