“We are proud of the wines we craft, but constantly scrutinize each detail for insights that can take us to the next level.” — Jeff Cole, Winemaker
Having joined Sullivan Rutherford Estate in 2013, Winemaker Jeff Cole draws on a strong foundation of experience and an intimate understanding of the Estate in making world-class wines.
Jeff earned a degree in Wine and Viticulture from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Prior to joining Sullivan, he worked with Schramsberg and J. Davies Vineyards, where from 2006 through 2013 he played an indispensable role both in J. Davies’ red wine program and Schramsberg’s méthode champenoise sparkling wine production.
While there, he worked with many top vineyards within the Napa Valley, and regularly interacted with some of the valley’s most talented and respected members of the wine industry, including consulting winemaker Scott McLeod, who would sell fruit to Schramsberg.
Scott recognized Jeff’s talent and ability to skillfully manage the meticulous cellar practices demanded in sparkling wine and offered him the Assistant Winemaker position at Sullivan. Jeff worked alongside Scott for two years, gaining valuable insight on the estate, its history, and winemaking style. By the 2015 vintage, Jeff assumed 100% direction over the winery’s production.
At Sullivan, Jeff relishes the opportunity to make Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot from a world-class Rutherford estate. “It’s no secret that great wine begins with a great site, and I don’t know of anywhere else in the world that offers the potential presented at this estate,” he says.