Log In / Join Now

Winemakers on the Move: New Changes at California Estates

Flowers, MacRostie, Saintsbury, Sequoia Grove and Stonestreet have all hired new staff.

Nick Fauchald
Posted: July 26, 2004

With this year's harvest quickly approaching, many California wineries are shuffling winemakers.

Jim Allen, who founded Napa Valley's Sequoia Grove in 1978, is retiring as president and winemaker. He will hand his responsibilities over to Michael Trujillo, who has been a winemaker at Sequoia Grove since 2002.

Saintsbury, which produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Napa, has hired Jerome Chery as its new winemaker. Chery, a native of France, was most recently winemaker at Littorai in Sonoma.

Graham Weerts was named the new winemaker at Stonestreet Winery in Sonoma County, one of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates' boutique brands, known for its Chardonnay and Bordeaux-style wines. Weerts, a native of South Africa, had previously worked at several wineries in his native country and in Bordeaux.

Kevin Holt was named winemaker at MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in Sonoma, best known for its Chardonnay. Holt, who replaces Alejandro Beloz, was formerly at Quivira and Testarossa.

At Flowers Vineyard and Winery on the Sonoma Coast, which is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, former associate winemaker Ross Cobb has been promoted, replacing winemaker Hugh Chappelle, who is now director of winemaking at Lynmar Winery, a Russian River Valley winery that also specializes in Burgundy varietals.

# # #

Would you like to comment? Want to join or start a discussion?

Become a WineSpectator.com member and you can!
To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. Member benefits include access to more than 315,000 reviews in our Wine Ratings Search; a first look at ratings in our Insider, Advance and Tasting Highlights; Value Wines; the Personal Wine List/My Cellar tool, hundreds of wine-friendly recipes and more.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.