Winemaker, Patent Wines
Raised in San Francisco, Tom made frequent trips to Napa on his motorcycle, buying wines directly from the wineries of the day. After four years in the Navy, Tom enrolled at UC Davis along with notable classmates Mike Martini, Tim Mondavi, Randy Dunn, and Bob Levy.
Tom’s career began at Freemark Abbey, an experience he calls “a great job, and a great honor.” In 1978, Tom became the founding winemaker at Duckhorn Vineyards. After 22 vintages of creating some of Napa’s most celebrated wines, Tom continued to build many wineries from the ground up, notably Pellet Estate, Provenance Vineyards and Hewitt . Tom’s 2010 Hewitt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was named to the Wine Spectator’s Top 10 in the world for 2013, and the #1 Wine in California. Rinaldi’s 45+ years of Napa Valley wine experience enables him to produce wines that showcase his masterful blend of traditional French techniques with ultra-high premium fruit.
Tom leads all winemaking strategies and cellar responsibilities, vineyard selections and crop management, and masterfully assembles all final blends – bringing his art, science, and nature together in harmony and balance.
Always the avid learner, Tom loves everything from anticipating the vineyards’ seasons to experimenting with new methodologies and technologies, always open to innovative practices alongside traditional methods. Tom resides with his wife and daughter in St. Helena, where you will either find him in the vineyard, the cellar, or riding his bike throughout the Napa Valley.
Country born: USA
Years in the wine industry: 30+ years