Winemaker, Black Stallion Estate Winery
David currently leads the winemaking team at Black Stallion Estate Winery. “It’s such fun,” he says. “We have the most phenomenal team, completely dedicated to doing the best we possibly can. Most importantly, the Indelicato family is totally supportive of us.”
Country born: United States
Education: “All my life, I’ve loved science,” says David Ostheimer, Winemaker for Napa Valley’s Black Stallion Estate Winery. Initially, David channeled this passion towards medicine and earned a degree in Biology/Pre-Medicine at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. At the same time, his mother opened a wine shop just outside of Boston, giving David exposure to wines from around the world.
David was intrigued by wine, especially the science of winemaking. As his interest developed, David had an epiphany: “Since I couldn’t afford to drink the wines I liked, I thought I would try to make them.” He moved to California and obtained a Master of Science in Agricultural Science (Analytical Chemistry and Enology) from California State University of Fresno.
After graduation, David actively sought opportunities with wineries around the world. He worked and studied at Chateau Rieussec (Bordeaux, France), La Cave Cooperative de Blanquette de Limoux (Limoux, France), Vitis Research (Fresno, CA), Mazzocco Vineyards (Healdsburg, CA), Simi Winery, (Healdsburg, CA), Cloudy Bay Winery (Blenheim, New Zealand), and Louis M. Martini Winery (St. Helena, CA).
Along the way, David had the benefit to work alongside Michel Rolland, Zelma Long, Kevin Judd and Nick Goldschmidt world-class winemakers who greatly influenced David and his winemaking style. “I was so lucky to learn from these talented winemakers, for example, Zelma’s incredible attention to detail, Michel’s blending ability, Kevin’s skill with Sauvignon Blanc and Nick’s ability to connect the fruit attributes with winemaking.”
David has served as both President and Vice President of the California Enological Research Association (CERA), and as a member of the Sonoma County Wine Technical Group and the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.
Years in the wine industry: 30+ years
David’s winemaking philosophy focuses on balance. “My goal is to allow the fruit to express itself and not be too heavy handed in the cellar,” he explains. Balance also comes from David’s skill in sourcing fruit from Napa Valley’s diverse range of AVAs. “I feel like a kid in a candy store,” he says. “I can choose the best fruit Napa Valley has to offer and blend it to create very special wines.”