Expect the unexpected.

Expect the unexpected

Shalini’s first passion was playing the piccolo/a.k.a small flute. Now her passion is creating small-lot wines. A natural migration from one form of art and science to another…

For the last decade, Shalini has crafted highly-rated, small lot pinot noir and chardonnay for her boutique winery clients.With the launch of her Ottavino label in 2020, she aims to focus on varieties and winemaking techniques which are lesser-known/unexpected in California but equally outstanding. One might say that an Indian-American woman winemaker from New Jersey knows a thing or two about being unexpected but fabulous!

Drawing inspiration from wines she enjoys drinking from around the world and applying the knowledge and skills she has cultivated through years of crafting award-winning pinot noir and chardonnay, these wines are every bit as serious as the wines she crafts for her winery clients.

ottavino (n)

flauto piccolo

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Ottavino’s mission is to explore less-common varieties and winemaking in California with minimal intervention. Dare to think differently and Expect the Unexpected!

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Shalini Sekhar

A former musician, Shalini turned from her Master’s Degree in Flute and Piccolo Performance to a career in wine. After studying Enology & Viticulture at Fresno State University, she began her journey into winemaking marrying the same combination of art and science that fueled her passion in music.

Shalini was included in the San Francisco Chronicle’s 2019 Winemakers to Watch. In 2015 she was awarded Winemaker of the Year at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Today, in addition to Ottavino, she continues to be the winemaker for Waits-Mast. Neely, and Xander Soren Wines.

When Shalini is not at a winery or in the vineyards, she is busy studying for her WSET Diploma and traveling with her husband and their two young children.

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