Jeff Fontanella, our winemaker, has been making wine in Napa Valley for over 10 years. A graduate of the University of California at Davis he holds a degree in Viticulture and Enology. Jeff began his winemaking career working in the cellars of Opus One and ZD. Soon after, he took a position at one of Napa’s great cult wineries, Saddleback Cellars. At Saddleback Jeff sharpened his winemaking skills under the tutelage of Nils Venge, whom Robert Parker named one of the 20 most influential winemakers in the world. While challenged with the task of producing wines from 13 different varietals, Jeff was able to display his versatility as a winemaker, matching different winemaking techniques with specific vineyards in order to achieve the wines full potential.
Throughout his career, Jeff has crafted wines that have received several 90+ point ratings from Robert Parker, the Wine Spectator, and the Wine Enthusiast. He was featured as one of “The Next Napa Superstars” by Vinography.com at the 2008 Aspen Food and Wine Classic. His wines made a repeat visit at the 2009 Food and Wine Classic, when the Fontanella Family Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon was highlighted.
Ramon has been growing grapes on Mount Veeder for 34 years. The first 20 years he managed Domaine Chandon’s 1200 acres of vines. For the last 7 years he has managed Camalie Vineyards, Konrad Vineyards and Rubissow Vineyards, all on Mount Veeder.
His years of experience are evident when you see the vineyards he manages and taste the superior quality fruit they produce. Ramon believes that the cultural practices used in grape growing have to be tuned to each vineyard and the varietals grown. Ramon manages our vineyard based on his decades of experience balanced with the evolving needs of the vines each season. The Pulido Vineyard Management Team hand farms our vineyard with the utmost care, using the highest quality resources.
Complementary to Ramon’s experience is collaborator Mark Holler’s expertise in high technology acquired during 25 years of working for Intel Corporation in various roles from Device Physicist to Neural Network Chip Designer to Computer Vision Researcher.
Mark’s contribution involves gathering data from the vineyard in real time using wireless sensors and making it available in real time on the web. Mark is Camalie Vineyards winemaker. With 10 vintages under his belt he has applied his experiences with Camalie and Konrad grapes to vineyard practices.
Mark has automated our irrigation management to a standard that only a small percentage of Napa Valley’s vineyards can match.
In addition to John Derr Farming, John and his wife Ashley are also growers/vintners on Mount Veeder ~ Lampyridae Vineyards and The Napa Wine Project.
John has over 30 years of experience working for some of the most premium vineyards in the Napa Valley and beyond. John’s expertise in development, establishment and vineyard cultural practices including pest management, soils, nutrition, water and canopy management are some of the many reasons I chose John to be a part of my vineyard management team.
Jill is a native of the Napa Valley. She went off to Los Angeles and received a Bachelor of Art in Design from UCLA where she lived and worked for several years. Upon returning to the Napa Valley she became the Art Director for Bergin Glass Impressions for 10 years. Jill then moved on to create and run Spotted Owl Vineyards.
Currently Jill is owner and partner of Sparc Design & Marketing. With 19 years of experience in designing wine labels Jill will help bring your ideas to life.