Shea A.J. Comfort, Consultant-Winemaker
Working With You To Improve Your Wines and Spirits!

Contact Shea:
Please don't hesitate contacting me for any reason, I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for your time and interest.

Shea A.J. Comfort

561 Rock Oak Road
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Mobile: 925-788-0779   Home: 925-946-1515

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A few client responses:

"I've worked with Shea on and off for 6 years and he is currently helping us as the consulting Winemaker for our production of Olin Wines.  He has an unrivaled passion for flavor, that is definitely reflected in his wine making style... its all about the flavor.   He is not hung up on tradition nor obsessed with innovation which allows him to make decisions based purely on what will make the best wine.  I consider his palate his biggest skill followed by his relentless pursuit of answers to any questions that come up. He is an encyclopedia of knowledge about winemaking and possesses an amazing attention to detail which will become apparent in your first five minutes of conversation.  You will definitely enjoy working with Shea." - Olin Schultz of Olin Wines, Concord CA,

"As a winemaker, at any level, it is important to have as much experience, knowledge and resources as possible. Wine from season to season cannot be made simply by a standard recipe. An important part of my "tool kit" is Shea Comfort. Easy to use, available for simple discussions and idea interaction, or can be used to build a complete wine profile. Helpful in repairing wine faults, yeast selections, enhancements, filtering and most other topics. Useful from crush to bottle. Put Shea Comfort in your tool box. Batteries not included."
- Scott Brown of Bent Metal Winery, Grass Valley CA,

“Shea is a fantastic resource in fermentation practice.  His techniques reminded us that we’re mead makers who distill, not distillers who make mead.  His advice and guidance helped us make a better product in fermentation and resulted in a better distilled spirit.  If not for his help, we might have not had a viable production and business model in making honey spirits.  Having his expertise is a competitive advantage “
- Ed Tiedge of StilltheOne Distillery LLC, Port Chester NY,

"Shea really knows his stuff and has been a tremendous help with our wines. He is knowledgeable, helpful, honest and has a fastidious attention to detail.  One of his unique talents (aside from his superb palate) is his ability to envision the potential of any wine - even one that you think might be lost or ruined. In my experience, some of the transformations Shea has been able able to achieve have been be near magical.  If you have ever tasted one of your wines and panicked, and especially if you believe one or more of your wines could be better, give Shea a call. Your wine will be better for it."
- Casey Cobb of Wine Mosaic, Concord CA,

"Shea Comfort has been the largest single help, advice & information source I have encountered in my several years + of wine making.  He has been the most efficient man in getting the answers to my questions & also explaining why.  He has raised the quality of all my wines and has even saved a couple from the drain pipe. He is well worth the money & I will gladly continue to hire & pay him so I can continue to use his knowledge & consulting.  Working with Shea has definitely made my winemaking hobby more of a pleasure.  His most difficult accomplishment: making me & my wines look great to my wife & friends!  Hire him, use him & get much better wines much easier."
- Gus DeFalco of Orange Coast Winery, Newport Beach CA,

"What we covered was not in any of the books I have read and now I know exactly what I need to do during fermentation to improve this years wine. In addition, Shea showed me how to improve the wine I already had in barrels through a guided tasting trial. Really helpful and my eyes were opened to a whole new world of winemaking possibilities. I am very happy!"  - Frank Sousa, Gilroy CA

"We began our home wine making hobby twenty years ago and felt we had reached a plateau in the quality of our wine produced. We had a number of questions related to improving the quality of our wines and had not been successful in finding the answers. We then hired Shea Comfort primarily because we felt he fit a niche unavailable to us before, he had the experience to bridge the gap between large volumes of wine and carboy production. We were very impressed by his knowledgeable and immediate response to all our wine questions. With the knowledge we gained from Shea's consultation we  renewed our enthusiasm in producing quality wine. In retrospect this was the best money we have spent." - Jim Hilgendorfer, Napa CA

"If you want to get your wine making to a new level, meet with Shea, you will compact into a few hours the results of his decade or more of trials with every aspect of winemaking.  This experience is not to be missed, brings lots of note paper!"   - Dan Boykin, Concord CA

"There is science and art in winemaking, and Shea has combined both with years of experience.  As a novice amateur winemaker thousands of miles from California, Shea’s advice has leapfrogged me ahead of years of trial and error.  From grape handling and yeast selection to fermentation management and just good winery practices, Shea’s input has kept my winemaking focused on the goal.  No matter what fruit you start with or equipment you use, Shea Comfort will help you make better wine."
- Cameron Denton, Baltimore MD

"The thought of being a simple home winemaker and making contact with a seasoned professional was anxiety provoking to say the least.  My fears however quickly evaporated in the first five minutes of talking to Shea.  He meets you at your level in your development as a winemaker.  He wants to assist you, not critique your skills.  He is a wealth of information and even in a short consultation can disseminate a wealth of information that will guide you through of whatever stage of the process you are in.   His passion for winemaking is infectious and he gives you a level of confidence in the process that is invaluable.  If friends and family drink your wine because of the novelty and not because of the quality, it's time to take your skill to the next level.  An investment in a consultation is far more valuable than any piece of equipment."  - Joe McEllistrem, Carson City, NV

"Shea has become an invaluable winemaking resource, whether he is explaining the underlying chemistry, helping me appreciate the flavor nuances in my wine or teaching me improved cellar practices.  I have learned an incredible amount working with him.  Whether it's with emails, short calls or onsite consultations, he is always available when I need help.  He has really improved my winemaking." - Dave Rey of Reliez Valley Vineyards, Lafayette CA

"As a second-year winemaker, I was bedazzled by the wide variety of yeast profiles and totally unclear about which would work best for my wine-making plan.  Shea, as I found he had done in his basic wine-making guides, laid out very clear explanations and recommendations that really added a lot to my wine outcomes!"
- Jim Hanna, Purcellville

"I have been making red wine on and off since 1987. Recent focus is on Syrah: a half ton each year for the past four years. I telephoned Shea Comfort last year and we chatted for an hour or so on how I could improve my outcomes. As a result, that vintage (2008), is the best I have ever made. Fellow winemakers call it spectacular. My CPA, a wine collector, compares it to some of his reds from the Napa Valley. I am delighted. I owe it all to advice from The Yeast Whisperer."
- Joseph Harry Brown, Tacoma WA

"For the past several years we have had the great pleasure of working with Shea to prefect our winemaking skills. After twelve vintages we now consider ourselves experienced winemakers however we still rely on Shea to guide us through critical steps in the fermentation process and to correct any problems that might develop during aging. His knowledge of and passion for winemaking are truly unique. He knows just how to make wine yeast happy and therefore our wines have turn out much better with him than without him. From the vineyard to the bottle he can do it all. As far as we are concerned Shea Comfort is the MVP of winemaking. You don't need to call anybody else." - Bill Cotton, Los Gatos CA

"Shea knows his stuff and, most importantly, he knows how to help me with MY wine. Books and the Internet can only give generic info and I’ve found that every wine is unique so the books and Internet leave me with having to do a lot of guesswork. Shea takes the guesswork out of my winemaking. I know I will be a better winemaker because of the help I get from Shea."
- Bruce Schwarze, San Rafael CA

"We decided to make wine ourselves from the backyard vineyard, and Shea guided us through the process with unhurried, practical advice.  He is terrific.  And the wine, well, our friends have asked for more..."
- Bob Morse, Portola Valley CA

"Shea has been a wine saviour for us.  He is very competent, disciplined, and dependable."
- Richard & Connie Holmberg of SanKriSeth winery, Clayton CA

"I can tell you that even in the hour you spent with me, reviewing the setup in my shed, I learned many subtleties of the winemaking process that aren't easy to find in any of my winemaking books, if they exist at all, but you showed me how to apply them to my setup. Things like how to actually clean then sterilize equipment, to the most important thing about tasting the wine throughout  the process, and not just relying on 'the numbers'." - Ed Buchanan, Oakland CA

“After my first year of winemaking resulted in mediocre wine I decided to consult an expert to walk me through the various stages of winemaking. Shea was not only able to guide me through those stages but was instrumental in helping  me  deal with unexpected situations that are inevitable in the winemaking process. Shea’s knowledge and passion for teaching winemaking has made me a better winemaker and of course the wine better too!" - Joe Race, Cleveland OH

"I've been an avid home winemaker for several years and have a small backyard vineyard. I'd taken classes ad UC Davis and I've made some really good wine but felt I had plateaued. I knew that my grapes have more in them but I hadn't been able to figure out how to bring it out. Then I met Shea. Through the yeast and bacteria pairings and blending trials, I learned a lot that that I never found in books, classes, or my own trials. The knowledge I gained from Shea has given me an ability to take it up a level and get the mouthfeel, nuanced flavors, and finish that I'd been seeking.  He really is the yeast whisperer." - John Napieralkski, Castro Valley CA

"I've been growing my own fruit and making wine on my own for years, but I never really felt in control of things until I started working with Shea.  Under Shea's tutelage, I've starting improving my winemaking even before I harvest my grapes; getting advice from him about how to know when to pick, how to adjust the must and of course help on yeast and MaloLactic starter selection.  Thanks to Shea I've started measuring more carefully, adjusting more deliberately and blending more creatively. Shea doesn't do it for me - but knowing that's he's there as a backstop, gives me the confidence to be a better wine maker." - Marc Randolph, Santa Cruz CA

I am an amateur home winemaker; I have a backyard vineyard in a tract home development. I have read books and spoke to industry folk here and there on how to home-make wine for the last five years and found it to be challenging at times as there are so many details that available resources cannot address. I hesitated on hiring a consultant as I consider this a hobby for me. However, I've realized that as I progress in my winemaking skills, I need the level of comfort and missing details that will improve the quality of my wines. I first used Shea this year as a wine consultant and have been pleased with his knowledge and responsiveness. I look forward to learning more from him and becoming an experienced winemaker!  - Claudia Gemberling, Brentwood CA

"As soon as I met Shea, I liked him. And he will not disappoint. Guaranteed. Like most winemakers, I am usually at some level of, at times, needless panic, and he is always right there with assurances and sage advice. This is one knowledgeable and dedicated guy. Oh, and by the way, he is not a whisperer!"
- Michael Simons of Camanche Cellars, Montery CA

"Hi Shea,

I wanted to take a quick second to thank you for all of your assistance over this past year.  As a new winemaker I really don’t have a local resource that I can turn to for guidance and while I’ve purchased an extensive winemaking library, the books seem to contradict each other in so many areas.  So it is great to be able to contact a wine consultant like yourself who has a ton of experience and can give me a straight answer on how to handle situations as they arise and can explain the whys and wherefores of what is actually happening.

I especially appreciate your suggestions on how to handle two of my wines that seemed destined for disaster.  The Cabernet Sauvignon and the Sauvignon Blanc now appear to be back on track and aging nicely.  Also when I compare the Pinot Noir that I made on my own to the one that you helped me craft from the start, the differences are phenomenal.  Mine seems flat and uninviting and our new one has the qualities that you’d expect from a fine Burgundy – I couldn’t be more pleased.

Again, thank you for all of your help and I look forward to further discussions with you on how I can continue to improve my winemaking skills."
  - Eric Haila, Longmont CO

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