“I find winemaking to be both an art and a trade—you learn by doing and working the vineyards, ensuring the fruit is the best it can be long before it’s picked is at least half the work of the winemaker”
Jennifer Williams is truly a rising star among Napa Valley winemakers who has learned her trade from some legendary vintners. A graduate of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, she began her career in Central Coast wineries, then arrived in Napa Valley working at Trefethen Family Vineyards as an enologist. She worked harvest in Rioja and then honed her craft at top Napa Valley wineries with positions as vineyard manager and then winemaker at Spottswoode Estate, Zeitgeist Cellars and Arrow and Branch. She had the good fortune to be mentored by the best in the business including renowned Vineyardist David Abreu and Winemaker Francoise Peschon at Araujo Estate.
Jennifer grew up in rural Valley Center outside of San Diego where her passion for agriculture began as an adolescent. She was captivated by the many fruit trees on her parent’s property. This is where she first explored the taste, texture and acidity differences between varieties of apples growing there. This introduction to flavor laid the groundwork for a career in winemaking and an obsession with the farming practices that influence flavor.
Williams came into the business through the vineyard, and into the vineyard through the garden. Sourcing fruit from vineyard sites selected for what each brings to the flavor profile in the finished wine speaks to her talent for nuance gained in her youth in the orchard. Jennifer, her husband Mark and their children find their lives steeped in agriculture. Jen and Mark also find time to make wine together.