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Winemaker Katy Caryl Lovell Passes Away

Posted on July 16, 2013

Beautiful, benevolent, gracious and gifted, our dearly beloved Katy Lovell, winemaker at Poetic Cellars in Soquel, CA, and mother of three, left us all too soon on July 10, 2013. She waged a brave battle against pancreatic cancer, following a two-year struggle with Lyme disease. To the end, she embraced life with a passion and positive attitude that inspired everyone she touched.

Born at home on January 1, 1956, in Hemet, CA, to her parents Caryl and Hap Lovell, Katy was first at so many things, including first born of the year in her home town. She was an outstanding athlete and music student, winning President Kennedy’s Presidential Fitness award two years in a row. A brilliant flutist, she studied music at Interlochen’s Center for the Arts, and attended Oberlin College. If not for a wrist injury, Katy would have pursued a career in music. Instead, she took up pottery and weaving, eventually supporting herself both as a fiber artist and a cabinetmaker.

Her lifelong love of wine led her to study winemaking at Davis in the mid 1990’s, after which she founded Rios-Lovell winery in Livermore with her former partner, Max Rios, the father of her children. In 2003, she left Livermore in search of a new dream home and vineyard site in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She founded Poetic Cellars, and built a winery on a beautiful secluded parcel off Rodeo Gulch Drive, where she made extraordinary wine.

Katy was one of only three women winemakers in the Santa Cruz Mountains: she was a pioneer, master blender and hero to many. She was also a single mother of Julie, age 19, Brett, age 21 and Zac, age 23: they were her proudest achievement, and are all enrolled in college. Both sons graduated from Los Gatos High School, and her daughter, from Harbor High School.

In addition to her children, she leaves behind father and mother, Hap & Caryl Gault Lovell of Grant’s Pass, Oregon, sister Jan Laiho of William, Oregon, niece Windy Twelves of Sunnyvale, CA and nephew Tree Simonson of Grants Pass, Oregon.

The winery she dearly loved, Poetic Cellars, at 5000 North Rodeo Gulch Drive, Soquel, CA, will remain open weekends from noon til 5pm, and wine sales will continue until further notice. Katy may have departed this life, but she left behind her beautiful gift of wine for many to enjoy for years to come.

Donations on behalf of her children, to help defray medical bills and final expenses may be sent to Julie Rios Lovell, P.O. Box 3599 Santa Cruz CA 95063

Region: California, USA
Job Function: Winemaking

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