Winemaker, Oakville Ranch Vineyards
Jennifer's interest in wine began early, and the Santa Monica native still recalls her disappointment at not being able, at the age of 14, to purchase a bottle of wine to pair with the Father's Day dinner she was preparing.
While her ah-ha wine, a DRC Grands Echzeaux, was decidedly French, Jennifer considers herself a thoroughly California winemaker. After graduating from UC San Diego in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and working in the environmental sciences field, traveling and studying abroad, Jennifer set her sights on winemaking in the Napa Valley.
She began at Franciscan Oakville Estate in 1995 working in the tasting room and moved to the lab, where she worked with her first mentors, Gary Brookman and Frances Rojas. In early 1998 Jennifer became part of the founding winemaking team at what would become Miner Family Winery, beginning in the lab and working the last five vintages of her tenure as assistant winemaker. It was there she received the encouragement and support to establish her own winemaking consultancy.
Jennifer joined Trent Moffett in 2007 as winemaker, where she continues to apply her holistic winemaking philosophy, focus and scientific approach to the Moffett, Screenplay and C&T Cellars wines. With a philosophy of it has got to smell good and feel good to be good, Jennifer's goal is producing lush, balanced and aromatically interesting wines
In 2010 Jennifer joined custom crush house Napa Wine Company as associate winemaker to oversee the barrel aging programs, working and learning with other notable Napa Valley winemakers. In 2014 she joined longtime colleague Anne Vawter for the 2014 growing season and vintage to become onsite winemaker for Anne's major clients in 2015, including Oakville Ranch, the first vineyard Jennifer fell in love with and a continual presence through her 19-vintage career.
Jennifer has worked with every Oakville Ranch winemaker since 1996, and the return to Oakville Ranch's soil after many years of hard work and redevelopment by Phil Coturri, and Mary Miner was a sweet homecoming.
Presenting the thinnest veneer between place and palate is her goal, possible only through a deep intimate knowledge of the vineyard and respectful minimal manipulation in the winery. Jennifer sees success when her hand is invisible, with only the voice of the vineyard coming through clearly.
Country born: USA
Education: UC San Diego - Ecology, Behavior & Evolution and Spanish Literature
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
Presenting the thinnest veneer between place and palate is her goal, possible only through a deep intimate knowledge of the vineyard and respectful handling in the winery. Jennifer sees success when her hand is invisible, with only the voice of the vineyard coming through clearly.