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Rocca Family Vineyards Welcomes Tom Sherwood as New Winemaker for 2021 Harvest

Posted on September 27, 2021

Tom Sherwood has joined Rocca Family Vineyards as head winemaker in time for the 2021 harvest. Picking at the estate vineyards began in mid-September in Napa Valley at Rocca’s Grigsby Vineyard in Yountville and then moved to the Collinetta Vineyard in the Coombsville AVA (American Viticultural Area), the following week. 

“We are thrilled to have Tom join our team at Rocca. His level of enthusiasm, deep dive into the vineyards, and most importantly, his thoughtful and skilled winemaking style will create some of Rocca’s best wines to come,” said General Manager Angelique Ball.

Sherwood received his Bachelors of Science in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Adelaide in Southern Australia and started his production experience in the Barossa Valley. For the past seven years, he has worked for several premium wineries in the Napa Valley and collaborated with some of Napa’s most respected vineyards, where he nurtured his own personal style and philosophy behind winemaking.

“My goal is to continue Rocca’s tradition of creating balanced, age-worthy, site-specific wines that are sustainably made. It is clear that every vine is cared for and nurtured by our wonderful  team, led by our vineyard manager Sergio Melgoza,” Sherwood said.

Rocca Family Vineyards was founded in 1999, when Mary Rocca and her husband, Dr. Eric Grigsby, acquired a 21-acre vineyard in the heart of the Yountville AVA in Napa Valley. The vineyard was soon converted to a sustainable, organically farmed operation, planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Sirah. The Grigsby Vineyard quickly became a high-quality grape supplier to various Napa Valley wineries while the family embarked on creating their own wine label, harvesting the first vintage in 2000.

“We bought our first vineyard with overwhelming enthusiasm for our new role as farmers. Back then, we didn’t know much about grape growing, but knew if we put together a great team, excellence in farming and winemaking would follow,” stated Mary Rocca.  

In 2000, Rocca Family Vineyards acquired an 11-acre hilltop in the Coombsville AVA and planted their new Collinetta Vineyard with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc vines. Twenty-two years later, Rocca wines are still made from these estate vineyards, both of which are Certified Organic, Napa Green, and Fish Friendly Farming. 

“We focus on crafting estate Cabernet Sauvignons which perfectly reflect the unique characteristics of each vineyard,” said Dr. Grigsby.

With harvest complete, Sherwood will turn his attention to creating beautifully expressive wines, and immersing himself in the nature of Rocca’s estate vineyards. 

Region: Napa & Sonoma
Job Function: Winemaking

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