Winemaker, Buoncristiani Family Winery
Jay attended Santa Clara University in California and received a Bachelor of Science degree in the combined disciplines of Chemistry, Biology and Physics. After graduation in 1996, he returned home to the Napa Valley where intense home winemaking coupled with Enology at The Hess Collection Winery fueled a passion for the art and science of wine.
By 1999, at the young age of 24, Jay started the Buoncristiani Family Winery and vineyard management company with his three brothers while remaining hands-on in the lab, cellar and vineyards at The Hess Collection. From his position as enologist, at age 26, Jay was promoted to winemaker for The Hess Collection Winery, where he remained until the spring of 2005.
From 2005 until present, Jay’s winemaking skills have been directed toward his role as winemaker/owner at Buoncristiani Family Winery and Osso Anna Cellars as well as hands-on consulting winemaker for various labels in the Napa Valley.
Country born: United States
Education: Santa Clara University in California - combined disciplines of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
Honors / Awards:
Jay’s wines have earned high regards from the wine industry’s foremost critics, garnering a multitude of wine scores in the 90s and great achievements such as being named “Rising Star of Napa Cabernet” by the Wine Spectator, #25 in the Top 100 wines of the world from Wine Enthusiast, #1 Cabernet Sauvignon from Wine Spectator’s Ten Year Retrospective and a 98-100-point rated wine from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, where Jay’s wine was described as a “legendary effort.”
Jay focuses on obtaining the best fruit possible for each wine program through careful vineyard block selection and precise viticultural practices. He utilizes controlled stress in the vineyard to produce low-yielding, concentrated and balanced fruit full of flavor and varietal expression. Once grapes reach full maturity, his goal is to harness this inherent potential from the vineyard to the bottle through meticulous tracking and blending of each promising component in order to create optimum complexity while retaining balance, varietal character and superior quality.