Wine Country Personality: Jon Emmerich - Silverado Vineyards

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Jon Emmerich has always worked in the wine industry.  In 1985, Jon interned in the Cognac region in France.  After graduating from The University of California, Davis in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fermentation Science with an emphasis in Enology, he worked a harvest at Stags Leap Wine Cellars.  He then spent a year at Conn Creek Winery and Sebastiani Vineyards before joining Silverado Vineyards as a Lab Technician in 1990.  As it turns out, Jon's lessons took place not only in the classroom, but also in his dorm room. He and a dorm mate, whose family owned a small farm and winery in Lodi, decided to use some of the family fruit to make wine in their dorm room. It was a red lend and, at that point, Jon realized that if he could make decent wine in a dorm room, then he could make really good wine out in the world.
Managing winemaking is just one part of what Jon does at Silverado Vineyards. He spends a lot of time on the road, meeting consumers and carrying the Silverado story outside the Napa Valley.  "I think that a lot of people don't realize just how much time a winemaker will spend out in the market and away from the winery."  He also spends copious amounts of time working in Silverado's estate vineyards to understand the terroir and communicate its story through the wines. Jon sums it up nicely - "If my staff enjoys their work and our customers enjoy our wines, then I have done my job. In the end, that's what really matters."

SilveradoVydsTasting-Room-Entrance-lo.jpgOther than working in the beautiful Stag's Leap District where Silverado Vineyards resides, Jon would love to explore the wine regions of Spain, New Zealand and South Africa.  He spends his off time exploring the hills of Napa hiking in parks like Skyline and Westwood with his wife and daughter.  He spends a good amount of time socializing with people at beautiful wine dinners around the table at Silverado Vineyards, so it is surprising to know that if he wasn't a winemaker he like to be a "dog whisperer" like Cesar Millan and his favorite food and wine pairing is profiteroles and some Vintage French Champagne.  

However, Jon loves being a winemaker and being part of a winery with such a notable heritage.  "It's a real privilege to be part of something that's been around for awhile.  It's important to be able to take pride in what you do.  This isn't like any old job.  There's a stewardship, a responsibility, to the land, the wines, the winery's history and our reputation for consistent quality. I'm the winemaker, but it's not about the winemaker.  It's about the wines."

Silverado Vineyards
6121 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558

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very nice. great to see there are people who truly care working out our great wineries in California. great write-up and nice story. maybe i'll run into him on my ventures through Napa Valley Wineries next fall.

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