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Pezzi King Winery Hires Former Opus One Winemaker

Daniel Sogg
Posted: April 8, 2000

Cecile Lemerle has been named director of winemaking for the Pezzi King winery in Sonoma County. Formerly director of winemaking at Opus One in Oakville, Lemerle will be responsible for all production decisions at Pezzi King.

"We wanted someone who'd been working in a higher-end winery, who'd have experience with the kind of wines we'll be making here," said Jim Rowe Jr., president of Pezzi King. "We also plan a modest expansion, so we wanted someone who could address not only the immediate needs but also future ones."

Lemerle will oversee production of Pezzi King's diverse portfolio, which includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Fumi Blanc. The winery has also begun to make limited quantities of Merlot and Syrah.

"I was interested by the variety of wines and the chance to make the ultimate decisions about production," said Lemerle. "They're also expanding, so it's a great opportunity." Lemerle owns a small vineyard in Champagne and has worked for Golan Heights Winery in Israel and Schug Carneros Estate Winery.

Pezzi King, which owns 53 acres of vines in Dry Creek Valley and also purchases grapes, hopes to double its current production of 20,000 cases over the next five years.

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