Natalie Winkler has been appointed assistant winemaker at Westwood Estate Wines in Sonoma Valley after working closely with winemaker Ben Cane since 2014 as cellarmaster and enologist.
Westwood Estate specializes in Pinot Noir and Rhone varietals principally from the 22- acre Annadel Gap estate vineyard in northern Sonoma Valley, at the intersection of Hood Mountain and Sonoma Mountain. The winery offerings include a series of Pinot Noir bottlings featuring nine distinct clones, including a Rosé of Pinot Noir, as well as Mourvèdre, Grenache, Counoise, Syrah, RoussanneViognier and Rhone blends Elevation (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) and Legend (Tannat, Syrah, Counoise).
Her career has taken her from Spain to Australia and Bordeaux, and on through the Russian River Valley to Sonoma Valley. She holds a Master’s degree in Enology and Viticulture from the Escuela Universitaria de Ingeniería Técnica Agricola in Valladolid, Spain, and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon.
In Spain, she began her career at Bodega Elias Mora and Bodegas Monje, and spent time in Australia at the Delatite Winery, a cool climate winery at the base of Mount Buller in north-east Victoria. During harvest in 2015 she worked in Bordeaux at Chateau Fontenil.
Here in Sonoma County, she was an assistant to the viticulturist at Windsor Oaks and was a Vineyard Manager and Assistant Winemaker for Mill Creek Winery in Healdsburg, just prior to joining Westwood.
Her continuing interest in sustainable winegrowing has led her to work closely as an apprentice since 2014 to Philippe Coderey, who serves as a Biodynamic™ farming consultant for Westwood Wines. Coderey was formerly the vineyard manager and winemaker for M. Chapoutier, the notable Rhone producer.
## ### ##
Westwood Estate was founded by four friends who shared an overwhelming passion for great wine and who found, in the northernmost corner of the Valley of the Moon, tucked between Hood Mountain to the East and Sonoma Mountain to the West, the site for the Annadel Gap Vineyard, a perfect home for exceptional Burgundian and Rhone varietals that benefit from cool climate winegrowing.