Winemaker - Jon Engelskirger
"Live in each season as it passes, breathe the air; drink the drink; taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influence of each..." - Henry David Thoreau
Jon Engelskirger is a native Californian, born and raised in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Yosemite National Park. His early years, spent amidst the natural grandeur of granite palisades and big trees, had a profound affect on his choice of a career. He recalls that "of course I didn't realize it at the time, but all of those interactions with nature had become a part of me, so that when I first experienced wine, I couldn't help but be happily reconnected with all that was memorable about my childhood - cold stream water flowing over sun-warmed granite, the pungent smell of brush after the first fall rain, the rich, moist smel of the forest floor under a canopy of pines and firs. It's all there....in the wine."
A graduate of the Department of Enology and Viticulture at California State University, Fresno, Jon has had the good fortune to experience first hand the remarkable development of California wine over the last 30 years. From the expansive vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, his journey has been marked by "good fortune and wonderful people. For me, it's never really been about the wine," Jon says. "With good care, the earth provides a flavorful crop. With hard work, the crop provides a soulful wine. It's all about the people...people and their connection to the planet. When everyone is working happily and with determination toward a common goal, you can taste it in the wine!"
Jon honed his craft while associate winemaker at Silverado Vineyards, and as winemaker at Robert Pepi Winery and Hanna Winery. Most recently, Jon was for nine years the winemaker at Turnbull Wine Cellars in the Napa Valley, where he had the good fortune to test his skills while working with some of California's finest vineyards.