Episode 03: Ryan Cochrane / Advertising Copywriter + Winemaker


In today’s episode I’m talking to Ryan Cochrane, an advertising copywriter and winemaker on the side. Grab a glass of your favorite vino and settle in for my chat with him about how he got into winemaking, and how he juggles his business selling handcrafted California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir along with his advertising career.



  • You can find Ryan at RyanCochraneWines.com or on Facebook

  • Ryan learned winemaking from esteemed winemaker, Roger Nicholas of RN Estate in the Paso Robles area of California

  • Making wine he gets his grapes from Santa Barbara County — Fiddlestix and Solomon Hills  

  • Talking about all those Santa Barbara County vineyards got me thinking of one of my favorite movies ever, Sideways — maybe check it out over a bottle of Ryan’s wine!

  • Ryan balances his winemaking with his day job in advertising because he has a great, flexible employer, but he does continue to find it a challenge to make the time for selling his wine

  • Sells the majority of his wine in California’s Central Coast and Los Angeles - he is distributing his himself so spends a lot of time hand selling to restaurants, wine bars and also attending events and pouring his wine.

  • Ryan encourages people to be open with their employers and ask for the time off they need, because he’s found he comes back fresh and engaged and full energy to work which is a benefit for his employer and would be for any employer!

  • Ryan and I talk about how employers could get more out of their employees by recognizing the multifaceted nature of their employees

  • Was Gmail a side project?  Here’s the real story...

  • How we both have found that others at work are really curious and interested in our side projects

  • How Ryan feels like he fell into winemaking because he got laid off - but what he really did was follow his curiosity. Read some more on this topic in this article about Liz Gilbert’s take on curiosity

  • On discovering new interests later in life and being a beginner

  • This year Ryan is making a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Solomon Hills Vineyards in Santa Maria and a PInot Noir from Fiddlestix in Santa Rita Hills