New Winemakers for Buena Vista, La Crema and Wild Horse
California wineries change staff with the start of the new year.
Posted: January 19, 2004
The new year is a time of transition for many people, and California winemakers are no exception. Here are a few of the people who are changing their winery jobs:
Ken Volk, who founded Wild Horse Winery in California's Central Coast in 1982, plans to leave at the end of this month. Last August, he sold his Paso Robles-based winery to Peak Wines International, the owner of Geyser Peak Winery in Sonoma County, but remained onboard as president and director of winemaking. Now he will consult for the company while pursuing other projects.
Wild Horse's new head winemaker will be Mark Cummins, who has worked for the winery since 1995, mostly recently as assistant winemaker. Another longtime employee, Scott Welcher, previously viticulturist and director of grower relations, has been named general manager for winery operations and viticulture. Welcher has been with Wild Horse since 1988, longer than any other current employee.
Melissa Stackhouse has been named winemaker for La Crema Winery, part of Jackson Wine Estates. La Crema produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah from the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley. Stackhouse, who has been with the winery since February 2000 as associate winemaker, replaces Jeff Stewart.
Stewart has moved on to Buena Vista Winery to become vice president, winemaker of the Carneros estate. He oversees the winemaking, enology and quality-control departments and is responsible for the winery's day-to-day winemaking activities. Buena Vista's former head winemaker was Judy Matulich-Weitz, who had worked there since 1994.
Stewart was chosen for his experience with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Prior to La Crema, he held winemaking positions at Robert Keenan, Laurier, De Loach, Mark West and Kunde wineries. Buena Vista has begun replanting more than half of its 800 acres of Carneros vineyards, focusing on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Nick Goldschmidt, executive winemaker of Allied Domecq Wines, continues to oversee Buena Vista and the other wineries owned by the company.
Mark Clarin has been appointed winemaker at Tamás Estates Winery, in California's Livermore Valley. Previously, he worked in a variety of custom-crush and winemaking positions for Wente Vineyards, where he began his career in 1979. Tamás Estates, which was founded by the Wente family in 1984, produces Italian varietals such as Barbera, Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese, along with Zinfandel, from the Central Coast.
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