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Winemakers

Global Wine Influencer
Michel Rolland

Michel Rolland began consulting in 1985 and has worked with hundreds of wineries on four continents, helping to create scores of successful wines. Michel’s guiding principles tend to result in rich wines with a focus on ripe fruit and plush structure. Many say that much of winemaking’s progress in recent decades is thanks to the global sharing of ideas and Michel was a driving force in that shift, setting the stage as both a leader in the industry and a mentor to many who have come after him.

“Michel Rolland created an entirely new professional category: flying winemaker.” 
- Wine Spectator

Rolland has served as a foundational pillar in writing the modern history of Napa Valley, and has served as a beacon for bringing together Old World methodologies with New World flair. It is this unique mindset that helped revolutionize the wine industry as we know it, and Rolland’s fingerprints are all over that evolution.

Soil Whisperer & Titan of Terroir
Philippe Melka

Like the celebrated wines on which he has built his reputation, Philippe Melka would be the first to tell you that his career has been primarily influenced by soil. His wines are exalted for their hallmark complexity, texture, and depth of flavor, all while harnessing the unique traits of the fruit from various plots of the soil. He describes his style as one that brings together his fluency in French winemaking tradition with a keen understanding of current industry trends and techniques.

“Every time I approach a new project, I set out to tell the truth of the vintage, of the vineyard, and of the moment. The truth is going to be different for every project. But the truth will always be the truth.”

A native of Bordeaux, Melka grew up fascinated by the intricacies of the land around him. Arriving in Napa Valley in 1991, he was immediately taken by and marveled at the array of soil types and composition, and it proved to be a complete revelation for him. Since 1995, he has been putting his stamp on Napa Valley’s wine industry, spearheading the programs for some of the region’s most revered wineries while garnering a list of accolades and 100-point scores along the way.

The Winemaker’s Winemaker
Alberto Antonini

Alberto Antonini blends modern techniques with ancient tradition in the pursuit of premium wine making. As senior winemaker for Antinori and Frescobaldi, he has earned a reputation as a master vintner. In 2015, he was judged best in the world by his peers.

Alberto was a key player in helping Argentine Malbec wines gain their international reputation. He plays an important role in helping and encouraging wine producers to overcome the colonization of the Bordeaux recipe and return to traditional, indigenous grape varieties and local winemaking techniques.

He brings to Renwood his expertise and years of international experience and has helped direct and focus the winery’s resources on improving grape and wine quality.

New Generation Winemaker
Matt Sands

A native of New Zealand’s Waiheke Island, Matt has trained under some of the best teachers and worked for some of the best wineries on the planet. As winemaker for Man O’ War, Goldie Vineyard, and Stonybridge Vineyard, he learned an array of modern techniques from some of New Zealand’s most famous wineries. He began his career in 2009 as assistant winemaker for Passage Rock Wines, and while there, he also served as a committee member of the Waiheke Wine Growers Association.

His domestic experience has helped him ascend into a different stratosphere. Time working harvests at Screaming Eagle and Bryant gave him an inside look at the premiere wines and terroir of Napa Valley. His commanding understanding of the unique microclimates of Napa Valley is what has set him apart from other young upstarts in the industry. He is the winemaker for Justice, Jurisdiction, and Jurisprudence, along with Tim Milos, and now Philippe Melka, as well as serving as the assistant winemaker for Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate.

Zinfandel’s Master
Joe Shebl

Joe’s ability to combine the science and art of winemaking has made him a master at creating the finest Zinfandel wines. His reputation was further expanded when he was selected as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine's America's Top 40 Under 40. Zinfandel can be delicate and graceful or a big monster of a wine.

“My approach has always been to let the vineyard do the ‘work’ and we shepherd the grapes through careful irrigation and canopy management, research and experience, and understanding of how each vineyard block ‘speaks.’”

Master Craftsman
Timothy Milos

Timothy Milos jokes that he has, “dropped out of some of the best schools in the country.” A master craftsman, if there ever was one, he is known for supreme attention to detail, organizational strategy, ingenuity, and problem-solving fermentation management. A sixth-generation Bay Area native, Tim grew up exploring the hills of rural West Marin. In addition to his diverse interests in philosophy, history, and politics, he studied plant pathology at Cornell University. While working towards his PhD in Molecular Genetics, he realized he would never be content sitting in a lab all day, and in 1997 headed back to his native California to pursue a degree in Enology at UC Davis.

“Every fermentation is a living system. It is its own ecology, and it evolves over time. It is as complex a matrix as you could ask for.”

Once leaving UC Davis, Tim made his way to Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, followed by Opus One, and finally wound up as winemaker for Cliff Lede and S. Anderson.

Dedicated to producing terroir driven wines, he uses traditional winemaking techniques and a minimalist approach to reveal the distinction of each unique block. Though a very modest and jovial individual, he takes his craft extremely seriously. With over 18 years of winemaking experience, Tim has received fabulous scores from every media outlet, including 100-points for some of his hillside mountain Cabernets.

Mark Pittman

All of our winemakers require an assistant, and that extraordinary person is Mark Pittman. Hardworking and absolutely dedicated, Mark has worked up from the cellar of this and other fine wineries to standing shoulder to shoulder with the world’s finest.

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