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Winemakers David Ramey and Andrew Bilenkij Join Ledson Team

Posted on September 21, 2012

Winemaker Steve Ledson (, entrepreneur and fifth generation farmer, announced today that he has added two world-renowned winemakers to his Ledson Winery team.

David Ramey, known throughout the world as one of the top winemakers in the industry, has joined the Ledson family as consulting winemaker. Ramey is widely acknowledged as one of the prominent wine pioneers whose efforts helped bring California wines to the forefront of the international wine world.

In February of 2012, Robert Parker said, “David Ramey is one of the few California winemakers who thinks in terms of structure, not just flavor, something that sets him apart from many of his peers.”

Steve Ledson and David Ramey have been friends for a long time and Ledson has always admired and been inspired by Ramey’s innovative winemaking style.

With Steve Ledson’s belief that every time you do something, you should do it better, Ledson and Ramey began their research. They wanted the best. After looking at winemakers around the world and reviewing more than 150 resumes, one name stood out - Andrew Bilenkij.

Formerly winemaker at Cumulus Wines in New South Wales, Australia, Bilenkij trained under one of the most acclaimed winemakers in the world, Philip Shaw, winner of the coveted “Winemaker of the Year” at the London International Wine and Spirits Competition in both 1986 and 2000. While he was at Cumulus, Bilenkij also had the opportunity to work in France for some highly prestigious wineries: Domaine Jacques Prieur in Burgundy and Chateau Malescot St. Expury in Bordeaux.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the vibrant California wine industry, producing top end wines with Steve Ledson and David Ramey from some of the best vineyard sources across Sonoma, Napa and MendocinoCounties. I’m excited about the energy that the three of us are generating in the pursuit of impeccable wines.”

The Ledson family’s 150 acres of estate vineyards are producing some of the most sought after fruit in the world, such as SonomaValley ‘Ancient Vine’ Zinfandel, Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and RussianRiverValley ‘Century Vine’ Zinfandel. This year they will see the first crop production from the Sonoma Valley Estate Vineyard, “Three Brothers,” planted in front of The Castle at Ledson Winery in Kenwood. “Three Brothers” is a field blend of five Bordeaux varietals. In addition, the family has new plantings on their Estate Redwood Valley Ranch, once owned by the Ricetti family, growing Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignane. They are also planting 150 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Zinfandel on their 6,000-acre Estate Anderson Valley Ranch. Next year they’ll receive crop off the first 15 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Steve Ledson, who has 50 years of experience working in the vineyards with his family, has been working with the highly esteemed viticulturist Dr. Daniel Roberts for the last five years. Roberts has worked all over the world consulting and has planted vineyards for some very well known wineries. “Roberts’ experience in viticulture is unparalleled. His addition to the Ledson team has done nothing but improve all of our vineyard operations.

“As Dad always said, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. It’s my belief that wines are made in the vineyard,” said Ledson. “The passion this team brings to winemaking, and the quality of fruit the wines will be made from, will result in nothing but the best.”

The winery continues to win some incredible awards, recently including Sweepstakes for the 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Best of Class for the 2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

Local builder, philanthropist and fifth generation Sonoma winemaker Steve Ledson founded Ledson Winery and Vineyards in 1993.The winery is located at 7335 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood and is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information, call the winery at (707) 833-2330 or visit the website: When in Sonoma, stay at the Ledson Hotel located on Sonoma's historic plaza for the perfect wine country weekend, bistro dining and a critically acclaimed Sunday brunch; it’s a launching pad for everything wine country. Enjoy the best hospitality the region has to offer with Ledson Winery and Ledson Hotel.

Region: California, USA
Job Function: Winemaking

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