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Colleen FitzGerald Promoted to Winemaker for Pine Ridge Vineyards' Chenin Blanc + Viognier

Posted on May 05, 2021

Napa, California; April 28, 2021: Colleen FitzGerald will now oversee the Chenin Blanc + Viognier (CB+V) program at Pine Ridge Vineyards. The aromatic and innovative CB+V white blend, pioneered by Pine Ridge Vineyards founder Gary Andrus in 1995, has become a favorite amongst those who discover it and is now one of America’s most popular white wines. 

This is a natural transition for Colleen, who originally joined Pine Ridge Vineyards as enologist in 2015 and was promoted to Assistant Winemaker for CB+V in 2018. She has an unmatched knowledge of the care needed to properly grow and blend the two distinct grape varieties that make up the delicious Chenin Blanc and Viognier blend. Colleen’s past work prepared the winemaking team to make the best possible decisions for CB+V, including grape selection, picking decisions, monitoring fermentations, blending and bottling.

“The care of Chenin Blanc + Viognier and the desire to continue refining our winemaking program for increased quality, value and sustainability is best handled by a passionate and qualified winemaker,” said Nicolas Quillé, Master of Wine and Chief Winemaking and Operations Officer for Crimson Wine Group. “We are lucky to have Colleen as Winemaker for this special and important part of the Pine Ridge Vineyards portfolio of wines.”

In addition to seeing the wine through fermentation and blending, Colleen will continue working with winegrowers in the Clarksburg American Viticultural Area in the Sacramento Delta region to make decisions about pruning, vine management and harvest timing, which is crucial with Chenin Blanc.

“I have always been captivated by the perfect balance of chemistry and art in winemaking. “ Colleen remarked. “I love working with Chenin Blanc because it has distinctive acidity and vibrant lemon-lime characters that complement the weight and floral notes of Viognier. Once you discover it, there is no going back.”

Colleen was raised in Pleasanton, California and found her way to the world of wine through harvest and lab internships after earning her biochemistry degree at California Polytechnic State University.  She spent several years working harvests in New Zealand and Paso Robles and at Pine Ridge Vineyards before joining the Pine Ridge Vineyards team full time.

This marks the first time Pine Ridge will delineate the winemaking responsibilities more clearly between CB+V and Pine Ridge Estate. Josh Mendoza-Widaman recently joined Pine Ridge Vineyards’ as Estate Winemaker. To learn more, please visit www.pineridgevineyards.com

About Pine Ridge Vineyards

Pioneers by nature, Gary and Nancy Andrus were determined to defy convention and pursue winemaking on steep slopes rather than the valley floor. In 1978, they established Pine Ridge Vineyards on 50 acres –a steep-walled valley within the Stags Leap District – and began cultivating Cabernet Sauvignon wines with concentrated expressions of the vineyards that created them. Today the winery owns estate vineyards in five premier Napa Valley appellations: Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, and Carneros. In 1995, Pine Ridge yet again forged a new path with the unusual and delectable blend of Chenin Blanc + Viognier, which has since become one of its most beloved and popular wines. To discover or continue your exploration of Pine Ridge Vineyards please visit www.pineridgevineyards.com.

Region: Napa & Sonoma
Job Function: Winemaking

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