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Several Napa Winemakers End the Year With New Jobs

Chimney Rock, Clos Pegase, Markham and Cuvaison are all experiencing staff changes.

Tim Fish
Posted: December 22, 2001

Winemakers are on the move in Napa Valley, with changes at Chimney Rock, Clos Pegase, Cuvaison and Markham.

Doug Fletcher, who has been winemaker at Chimney Rock Winery for 14 years, has been promoted to director of winemaking for the Terlato Wine Group, which owns a 50 percent stake in Chimney Rock.

Fletcher will continue to oversee winemaking at the Stags Leap District winery, which is best known for its Cabernet, and will take on responsibilities for other Terlato-owned wineries: Alderbrook Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma and Rutherford Hill Winery in Napa. He will also act as senior consultant on the company's joint ventures with Michel Laroche, Michel Chapoutier and Trevor Mast.

"Doug understands us and knows what we're trying to accomplish," said company CEO Tony Terlato. A new winemaker will be appointed to oversee day-to-day winemaking at Chimney Rock, Terlato said.

Steve Rogstad is leaving Clos Pegase, the Calistoga-based Cabernet and Chardonnay producer, to become winemaker at nearby Cuvaison in January. John Thacher, Cuvaison's winemaker for 20 years, is retiring and will join the winery's board of directors.

"They have some neat projects coming online, like the new vineyard on Mount Veeder," Rogstad said of Cuvaison, which makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir. "So there will be some new challenges for me."

Rogstad, who was on the winemaking team at Spring Mountain Winery before coming to Clos Pegase five years ago, will be replaced by assistant winemaker Shaun Richardson.

Michael C. Jordan is the new associate winemaker at Markham Vineyards, replacing Kimberlee Nicholls, who was promoted to winemaker at the value producer in October. Jordan, who was previously winemaker at Robert Hunter Winery in Sonoma Valley, will also help oversee winemaking of Markham's sister brands, Glass Mountain Quarry and La Jota.

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