Winemaker Interview: Jill DelaRiva Russell

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 09-15-2017

Jill DelaRiva Russell

Jill DelaRiva Russell

As our regular readers know, we frequently pose a series of questions to a winemaker to probe their winemaking philosophy and to gain insight into how they became who they are. This week, we are featuring Jill Russell, who was recently promoted to be the winemaker at Cambria Winery of the Santa Maria Valley in California’s Central Coast.

(We recently interviewed Jonathan Nagy, the winemaker at Byron Winery, who had previously worked at Cambria.)

Cambria is a part of the Jackson Family Wines portfolio. Following the footsteps of the late Jess Jackson, Barbara Banke and Katie and Julia Jackson manage the estate.

Jill studied winemaking at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. After graduating, she stayed in the area and began her career as assistant winemaker at Stephen Ross Wine Cellars. She then worked harvest in France and joined Paul Lato Wines, before being named Cambria’s new winemaker.

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Winemaker Interview: Kevin Bersofsky

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 09-08-2017

Kevin Bersofsky

Kevin Bersofsky

As our regular readers know, we frequently pose a series of questions to a winemaker to probe their winemaking philosophy and to gain insight into how they became who they are. This week, we are featuring Kevin Bersofsky, the winemaker at Montagne Russe, a California winery specializing in cooler climate regions like the Sonoma Coast and the Russian River Valley.

Kevin gained interest in wine when he took the wine course at Cornell. When he graduated, he began work in other industries, but shortly after 9/11, Kevin decided to abandon his first career to become a line cook in LA. Then he got a call to work for a Napa winery, and soon thereafter made his first wine in his garage with his friends. That was the beginning of Montagne Russe, which now sources fruit from several growers in the cooler California regions.

“Montagne Russe” literally translates to “Russian Mountains,” but the term in French means roller coasters. Kevin explains why he named the winery so.

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Winemaker Interview: Jonathan Nagy

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 08-25-2017

Jonathan Nagy

Jonathan Nagy

As our regular readers know, we frequently pose a series of questions to a winemaker to probe their winemaking philosophy and to gain insight into how they became a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Jonathan Nagy, the winemaker at Byron Winery.

Founded in 1984, Byron Winery is a part of the Jackson Family Wines Collection. Byron is located in Santa Barbara County, California.

Jonathan was raised there, in Santa Barbara County. His first job in the wine industry was at Robert Mondavi. Jonathan was then a senior in college finishing up his chemistry degree. He decided to work a second harvest at Mondavi, and before long, he was back in the industry at Cambria Winery. Jonathan joined Byron Winery as an assistant winemaker in 2001, and has been its winemaker since 2004.

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Winemaker Interview: Lisa Strid

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 08-04-2017

Lisa Strid

Lisa Strid

As our regular readers know, we frequently pose a series of questions to a winemaker to probe their winemaking philosophy and to gain insight into how they became a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Lisa Strid, the winemaker at Aridus Wine Company in Arizona.

Aridus is a new winery in an emerging wine region. Currently it makes wine from purchased grapes, but Aridus has owned 40 acres of estate vineyards since 2009. The winery is just beginning to figure out how best to express the grapes from there.

Lisa Strid will therefore have a significant role in developing Aridus’s portfolio. Lisa joined Aridus just a year ago, after spending some time at Gallo.

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Winemaker Interview: David Ramey

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 06-30-2017

David Ramey

David Ramey

As our regular readers know, we frequently pose a series of questions to a winemaker to probe their winemaking philosophy and to gain insight into how they became a winemaker. This week, we are pleased to feature David Ramey of Ramey Wine Cellars.

David’s storied winemaking career began as he graduated from U.C. Davis and interned at Jean-Pierre Moueix’s Château Pétrus. Then, after working in California wineries like Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill, Dominus Estate, and Rudd Oakville, David and his wife Carla founded Ramey Wine Cellars in 1996. Today, David’s two children, Claire and Alan, also work at the winery. And in 2014, David founded Sidebar Cellars, which experiments with different varieties and regions.

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Winemaker Interview: Juan Micieli-Martinez

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 06-16-2017

Juan Micieli-Martinez

Juan Micieli-Martinez

As our regular readers know, we frequently pose a series of questions to a winemaker to probe their winemaking philosophy and to gain insight into how they became a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Juan Micieli-Martinez, the winemaker at Martha Clara Vineyards of the North Fork of Long Island.

Juan was born in Mexico, but was raised in Long Island. So he knew from childhood memories that Long Island had wineries. And when the wine bug bit him in college, Juan returned to Long Island to work in the wine industry. He began at the tasting room at Pellegrini Vineyards and moved into other roles in the cellar and in the winemaking team.

After brief stints as a brewmaster and then as a winemaker in other places, Juan joined Martha Clara Vineyards in 2007.

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Winemaker Interview: Roman Roth

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 06-09-2017

Roman Roth_Credit MarkWeinberg

Roman Roth

As our regular readers know, we frequently pose a series of questions to a winemaker to probe their winemaking philosophy and to gain insight into how they became a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Roman Roth, the winemaker at Wölffer Estate in Long Island, NY.

Founded by Christian Wölffer in 1987, Wölffer Estate is run today by his children, Joey and Marc Wölffer, along with Roman.

Roman’s path to winemaking is perhaps the most to be envied. Roman was born into a winemaking family in Germany, so, as he explains, his childhood was accompanied by great wine that was celebrated and revered. At age 16, Roman began an apprenticeship in winemaking in Germany. After more experience in the United States and Australia, and after finishing an oenology degree, he took his current position as winemaker.

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Winemaker Interview: Rolando Herrera

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 06-02-2017

Rolando Herrera

Rolando Herrera

As our regular readers know, we frequently pose a series of questions to a winemaker to probe their winemaking philosophy and to gain insight into how they became a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Rolando Herrera, the winemaker at Mi Sueño Winery.

Rolando fell in love with wine after working harvest at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in the 1980s. He would stay there for ten years, learning and moving up, and then work with Paul Hobbs on several projects, before settling in 2004 into his current role.

His winemaking philosophy, he says, matches the philosophy of his winemaking mentors: to focus on producing the best possible grapes, and then simply to translate those grapes into wine without doing too much.

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Weekly Interview: Adam Kubrock

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 03-31-2017

Adam Kubrock

Adam Kubrock

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Adam Kubrock, the winemaker at Hillersden Wines in Marlborough, New Zealand.

Adam hails from Walla Walla, Washington, which is of course famous for its wines. There, he began his career in the wine industry, working at Gramercy Cellars. Then Adam visited New Zealand to experience winegrowing in a cooler-climate region. Initially he thought he would stay just a few weeks, but after brief posts at other wineries, Adam settled down at Hillersden Wines.

Now, Adam oversees the winemaking for Hillersden’s portfolio of wines, which includes a Pinot Gris, a Pinot Noir, a Riesling, and of course a Sauvignon Blanc.

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Weekly Interview: Brandon Lapides

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 03-17-2017

Brandon Lapides

Brandon Lapides

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Brandon Lapides, the winemaker at Armida Winery.

Brandon’s path to winemaking resembles many of our paths to wine appreciation. Growing up, Brandon saw that his grandfather collected wine — and did so seriously, buying among other things two cases of 1961 Chateau Latour — and so Brandon naturally developed an interest in wine, as he watched his grandfather open bottles at dinner. Born in Ithaca, the site of one prominent enology school, Brandon studied fementation science at another prominent enology school, UC Davis. After graduating, Brandon spent some time in New Zealand, before returning to California first and to Sonoma County in particular soon thereafter. In 2010, he joined Armida Wines.

Armida Winery was founded by brothers Steve and Bruce Cousins about twenty years ago. The estate produces several bottlings of Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay from purchased fruits, and also produced a field blend of Zinfandel and Petite Syrah from a seven-acre estate vineyard.

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