Vine Cliff Proprietress Nell Sweeney has announced the appointment of John Wilson as Winemaker of Vine Cliff. He will be responsible for the 2017 vintage of Vine Cliff wines, most notably the Cabernet Sauvignon from the Oakville estate.
John joins the winery from the Russian River Valley producer, Thomas George Estates, where he has been Winemaker since 2014. While at Thomas George, he designed single-vineyard Burgundy and Rhone style wines. Prior to Thomas George Estates, John was Assistant Winemaker under winemaker and mentor, Ted Lemon, at Littorai Wines, a premium single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producer from Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast.
While working as Cellar Master at Outpost Wines and Rivers-Marie Wines, John worked directly with winemaker and mentor Thomas Rivers Brown to produce top rated wines for Brown’s winemaking clients which include Schrader Cellars, Maybach Family Vineyards and Seaver Vineyards. This experience allowed John to work primarily with Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from nearly every appellation within Napa Valley for five consecutive vintages. He is focused on producing premium wines which showcase vineyard, vintage and varietal character.
John holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has worked and traveled extensively throughout the wine regions of Oregon, Chile, Argentina, Piemonte, Rhone and Rioja. He lives in St. Helena with his wife and two daughters.
“John’s passion for making great wine is in his working DNA. He comes from working his way up the winemaking chain which will make him an essential partner in our process,” added Nell Sweeney.