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Duckhorn vineyard view at sunset

Neil Bernardi - Vice President, Winemaking
September 9, 2015 | Neil Bernardi - Vice President, Winemaking

Vineyard Visits and Grower Relations

I had the great fortune to spend early Friday morning with our talented and knowledgeable Napa grower rep Cindy Johnson. In addition to seeing some incredibly beautiful vineyard sites in Carneros, Atlas Peak, and Howell Mountain, I got a chance to see Cindy in action, checking on vineyards and meeting with growers to ensure that only the best fruit comes into the winery. She is pictured here atop Atlas Peak amidst a 100 year old Zinfandel vineyard. The grower relations team plays a hugely important role in the quality of all of our wines in that they are the main contact between the winery and the grower throughout the growing season. They are the ones translating the needs of the winemaker to the grower, asking for that extra thinning pass or canopy management shift. This time of year, they are the extremely busy air traffic controllers, organizing and monitoring the flow of fruit into the winery. Being in grower relations is extremely challenging and requires great skill, patience, and tact in balancing the needs of the grower and our winemakers. We are very lucky to have such a great team, composed of Jerry Chong, our Director of Grower Relations, and Mary Basore, our Contract Coordinator, and Cindy J. In addition to the full timers, we have a crack team of supportive seasonal assistants and grape samplers, namely Alex B, Mike E., Mike S., Brad, Barry, Emily, and Peggy (who is currently recovering from a fall in the vineyard, get well soon Peggy!). Thanks to you for all your hard work, you are doing a great job!

Cindy - Grower Relations


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