Winemaker, Beau Vigne
With more than two decades of winemaking expertise, Julien Fayard is one of Napa Valley’s most respected winemakers producing California varietals with French finesse. He believes in producing wines with an identity, exploiting what makes each one unique. Julien’s wines are a pure expression of their terroir, highlighting the specificities and characteristics of the fruit, vineyard management, soil and climate. He has a track record of building brands both in terms of quality and market presence.
Originally from France, Julien began his career as a winemaker producing quality rosé at his family’s winery in Provence. In Bordeaux he worked at Lafite Rothschild and Smith Haut Laffite before relocating to Napa Valley. In Napa, he was Philippe Melka’s director of winemaking for a few years before launching his own projects.
Country born: France
Education: Julien earned his Master in Agri-Business from ESA France and his Master in Winemaking from Toulouse France. In 2011, he received his MBA from UC Davis.
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
Honors / Awards:
96/100 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - RP
95/100 Guest Cottage Cabernet Sauvignon - RP
97/100 Juliet Cabernet Sauvignon - TP
97/100 Romeo Cabernet Sauvignon - TP
In the vineyard and the cellar, Julien’s practices as a winemaker are informed by a belief that the act of putting wine in the bottle should be as natural as possible. To achieve this, he employs traditional, low-manipulation winemaking methods—always preceded by carefully considered viticultural decisions. “There’s a lot of anticipation with my decision-making on the ground,” Julien explains. “Great wine is the natural product of grapes, so my creed is vineyard-centric.”