Winemaker, Anthem Winery And Vineyards
Jeff Ames makes ultra-premium wines with true character that leave a mark and that people go back to. Winemaking has, and always will be, Jeff's true passion. His relentless energy and commitment to perfection is evident in each and every one of the wines he produces. Jeff is, like most of us, a wine geek at heart, someone who loves to crack open a bottle, taste, and share his passion with others.
Country born: Germany
Education: Jeff was born in Germany, but had a thoroughly Southern upbringing, spending most of his childhood in Memphis, and moving to Mobile, Alabama to attend high school. After high school, Jeff went to the University of Alabama, receiving a B.A. in History, with the idea of eventually attaining his law degree. But it quickly became clear to Jeff that law was not his calling, and he returned to Tennessee and began work on his Masters in Education at the University of Memphis.
Shortly before completing his Masters, Jeff took a job selling wine to earn extra money. Wine immediately captivated him, and, without a second thought, Jeff sent off many applications for harvest positions to wineries all over Oregon and California, landing his first winemaking job working harvest at Rex Hill in 1998. What was supposed to be a short hiatus from his Masters program quickly became a career and a consuming passion. Jeff moved to the Napa Valley in 1999, and began to learn every aspect of the wine industry. In 2001, Jeff began working as assistant winemaker under Thomas Brown on projects including Schrader, Maybach, Outpost, and Tor. Since 2003, Jeff has been the head winemaker for Tor and his own wine brand, Rudius, as well as for a few other acclaimed boutique wineries. Always looking for unique opportunities to work with ultra-premium fruit and to make the best wines possible, Jeff became the Anthem Winery's winemaker in early 2009.
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
Jeff's winemaking philosophy is to let the vineyards fully express themselves and to completely utilize the best qualities of the fruit in a particular vintage. Jeff is a perfectionist when it comes to quality. He makes wines from some of Napa Valley's most impressive vineyards, and himself walked and selected to make Cabernet from our vineyard, and the other vineyards from which Anthem sources fruit.