Winemaker, Artesa Vineyards & Winery
Born and raised in Portugal, Ana moved to California in 2005 to join the team at Rutherford Hill Winery. In the course of her eight-year tenure she was promoted from harvest intern to Lab Manager, and finally, Assistant Winemaker. She joined the Artesa winemaking team in 2013 as Assistant Winemaker and then Director of Winemaking in 2015. Known for her collaborative approach, she thrives in the fast-paced winery environment and excels at a wide diversity of experience from quality control assurance to creative applications such as sensory analysis and blending.
She credits her professional success to a passion for agriculture and winemaking, nurtured from a young age in Portugal when she first helped to make wine with family and neighbors, immersed in the European tradition of wine appreciation: "I always knew I wanted to do something related to agriculture and nature. For me, "the calling" came once I took my first winemaking class. I love how winemaking combines farming and science, with an intuitive approach. I quite enjoy the creative aspects of winemaking - "blending is a true alchemy and it has been a thrill to discover what kind of styles and approaches I most enjoy."
Country born: Portugal
Education: Ana holds a B.S. in Agriculture Engineering from the University of Evora, situated in the middle of Portugal's historic cork industry. Her experience with old world winemaking encouraged her to explore new regions and varieties, and to study a broad spectrum of subjects.
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
Honors / Awards:
Wine Enthusiast 2022 Wine Star Awards, "Winemaker of the Year" Nominee
Led by Winemaker Ana Diogo-Draper, the winery employs both traditional and modern techniques to create wines that experience minimal manipulation between harvest and bottling. Fermentations are conducted in stainless steel, concrete and wood vessels (using custom-made French oak large size barrels). The diversity of blending by parcel and fermentation techniques creates a palate of fruit-driven wines with a complex variety of aromas and flavors. Artesa's state-of-the-art winery, built beneath the ground into a hillside, is kept naturally cool by the constant temperature of the earth surrounding it. The philosophy of winemaking at Artesa is to always be true to the place where the grapes were grown, believing that the best wines are always made in the vineyard, not the winery.