After high school, Matt attended college at California State University, Fresno, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree, was inducted into the Order of Omega National Honor Society, and was the President of his fraternity: Sigma Phi Epsilon. A few years later, Matt also earned an MBA degree from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. While at Fresno State, Matt met the woman of his dreams- Denise. They began dating and were married in 2003. For much of his adult life, Matt’s health remained stable and he was able to work full-time in the medical industry. In his career, he worked as an EMT, a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep, and a Medical Device Sales Rep. He and Denise also enjoyed traveling and eventually discovered Napa Valley. Matt and Denise fell in love with Napa Valley from the moment they first visited. They became fascinated with wine and dreamed of one day owning their own wine brand. For many years, Napa Valley was just an annual or bi-annual vacation, but in 2010, a new job for Matt allowed them to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area. They chose to settle in none other than Napa County. However, it was around this time that Matt’s health began to decline quickly. Matt began seeing the CF medical specialists at Stanford University Hospital for his care. Despite doing everything that he was supposed to – taking his medications, doing his treatments, exercising, taking in proper nutrition – his Cystic Fibrosis was worsening. By April of 2012, Matt’s lungs had deteriorated to the point that he was on oxygen full-time, his lung function had declined to 22%, and he was forced to go on disability from work. His doctors at Stanford told him that he only had 2 years left to live unless he received a double-lung transplant.
Early Life Transplant & Life After The Wine Business