In 1992 famed enologist Andre Tchelistcheff told us, "Listen to the vines -- they will tell you what to do." This wise counsel is and will continue to be the most important element in our goal of making the best wine possible from our estate. Our winemaker, Fredrik Johansson, works closely with vineyard manager, David Abreu, to carefully farm the land and coax optimal ripeness, complexity and intensity from the vines with each harvest.
Fredrik Johansson is a transplanted Connecticut Yankee born to Swedish parents who moved to California 24 years ago to study engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. A change in his field of study to developmental economics and literature lead him to an initial career in law and investment management in Silicon Valley where he had the good fortune of working with several serious wine collectors who fueled his burgeoning passion for wine and ultimately altered the trajectory of his life. Serendipity allowed him to meet consulting winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown with whom he apprenticed for four years to acquire the core of his winemaking knowledge and from whom he learned the singular importance of vineyards and terroir. He has worked at Nicholson Ranch in Sonoma, Two Hands Wines in Australia and Outpost Wines on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley where he oversaw several of Thomas' consulting projects, including Schrader Cellars and Maybach Family Vineyards. Since 2007 he has been the winemaker at Staglin Family Vineyard where he has had the fortune of collaborating with two legends in the industry, Michel Rolland and David Abreu. Fredrik believes that wine should be an expression of time and place, that great wines come from great vineyards, and that ideal winemaking is palate based with a good technical and analytical backing that is ultimately transparent.
Andre Tchelistcheff's wisdom is a constant goal, his words continue to be an important tool for making the best wine possible from our estate. Not surprising since Tchelistcheff was so familiar with the terroir of the Rutherford area, the first to pinpoint the unique flavor profile of wines produced from fruit grown on the Rutherford benchlands.
Michel Rolland joined Staglin Family Vineyard in 2000 as our Winemaking Consultant. He visits the property several times a year to walk the vineyard, share viticultural recommendations and provide us with his expertise during blending trials. With Michel's guidance, we began to blend our estate wines in two tiers under the Staglin and Salus labels, similar to the Premier Cru and Deuxieme Cru distinctions in the Medoc of Bordeaux. His outside perspective, wealth of knowledge and expert palate are key components in our journey to continually enhance the quality of Staglin Family Vineyard wines.