How many executive chefs do you know who studied with an emphasis in criminal justice? Nope! It’s not part of any culinary curriculum. But before Executive Chef Rachel Haggstrom became, well, a chef, she considered a career in criminal justice. Lucky for all of us she chose a career working in the hospitality industry!

The WWRH crew was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with the Executive Chef of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, in Paso Robles, to hear how Chef Rachel found her career path and found the perfect environment to spread her culinary wings at JUSTIN.

Located in Paso Robles, California, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery was founded in 1981 and is known for crafting world-class wines using Bordeaux grape varieties, including the iconic ISOSCELES blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.

The vineyard estate, located at 11680 Chimney Rock Road, features a Tasting Room, luxury five-star accommodations at the JUST Inn, and a restaurant—making it one of the only wineries on the Central Coast to offer all three options.

In September 2018, a new second location, the JUSTIN Downtown Tasting Room, opened, introducing an expansive wine-tasting bar, lounge, and a full dining room that’s situated prominently on the square along Downtown City Park in the heart of Paso Robles. In addition to its stellar hospitality, JUSTIN consistently receives top honors around the world, establishing itself as a leader in new-world Bordeaux-style winemaking.

JUSTIN wines are available through fine-wine retailers and restaurants throughout the United States, or directly from the winery via JUSTIN’s Tasting Rooms, online store, or to members of the exclusive JUSTIN Wine Society wine club. To discover more about JUSTIN, visit

Tune in to learn more about Chef Rachel’s fascinating career path, which took her from a focus on criminal justice to earning her Master of Science, focused in Management of Hospitality and Tourism from the University of Gothenburg. We had a lot of fun learning from the “other side of the aisle” what it’s like to develop the ideal pairing with new wines.

Learn more at: Instagram (@JUSTINwine) and Facebook (@JUSTINwinery).