Winemaker, Covert Estate
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.
Julien earned his Master in Agri-Business ESA France and Master in Winemaking from Toulouse France and in 2011 he received his MBA from UC Davis.
Country born: France
Education: MBA UC Davis
Master of Winemaking (Toulouse)
Master in Agribusiness (ESA Angers)
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
Honors / Awards:
Appearances in SOMM TV's "Verticals: Lafite Rothschild," Season Two, (2021) and the feature length documentary "Decanted" (2016)
"Winemaker of the Year," 2021, Wine Spectrum
"Winemaker of the Year," 2019, LuxeSF
Non-interventionist winemaking. The vineyard drives the difference. What made me decide to build my own winery is traditional winemaking aimed at minimizing the cellar practices. Wine is a natural product of grapes. I am very technical on everything that supports winemaking, yet very traditional on what is in direct contact with the wine.