Ackerman Family Vineyards Names Leo Tellez as Winemaker
Napa, Calif.—Ackerman Family Vineyards has appointed Leo Tellez to the role of winemaker. His first Ackerman Family Vineyards wine, a 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, will be released later in June.
Tellez’s path to wine was written into his personal story well before he was even born. A third-generation Napan, Leo’s great grandfather moved to Napa Valley from Jalisco, Mexico and bought one acre of land back in 1950. His grandfather spent his career at Charles Krug Winery and his father devoted more than 25 years at Robert Mondavi Winery until the winery sold in 2004.
Leo’s personal connection to wine came via sommelier and chef mentors at fine dining restaurants such as Domaine Chandon’s now-shuttered Étoile restaurant, La Toque, The French Laundry and Masa’s. After graduating from San Francisco State University with an International Relations degree, Tellez pursued viticulture and enology classes at Napa Valley College and started his first winemaking internship at Kapcsandy Family Vineyards in Napa Valley working closely with Winemaker David Sotelo. In 2012, he joined celebrated Winemaking Consultant Denis Malbec as his assistant winemaker working with wineries including Kapcsandy, Blankiet, Repris, Captûre, Notre Vin and Sodaro Estate. In 2016, Leo joined Sodaro Estate in Coombsville full time as their winemaker, working with viticulture consultant Michael Wolf and the family to craft their small-production Cabernets. He will continue to make the Sodaro Estate wines.
“Leo’s connection to Coombsville and the greater Napa Valley winemaking community is deeply rooted and exceptional. His background and passion for winemaking and hospitality collaborate well with our own Coombsville roots. He brings a high standard for exceptional winemaking from his previous involvement with great Napa estates, as well as provide a new excitement for future wines from our Stonehaven Vineyard,” said Proprietor Lauren Ackerman.
About Ackerman Family Vineyards
Ackerman Family Vineyards purchased the Stonehaven vineyard in Napa’s Coombsville district in 1994 and began making wine for themselves in 1995. An entire replant of the vineyard in 1999 led to the first Ackerman Family Vineyards commercial release in 2003. The Ackerman’s Stonehaven Vineyard received the first organic vineyard certification in Coombsville in 2009. Ackerman Family Vineyards wines are available at their tasting room, The Aviary, a restored carriage house and patio garden at the Ackerman Heritage House at 608 Randolph Street in Downtown Napa, as well as online. Their wines are also distributed in a few select US markets. The Aviary is open for walk-in tastings Thursday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm and by appointment Monday through Sunday. Visit www.ackermanfamilyvineyards.com.