New Additions to our Winemaking Team!

You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I think of my employees as family, and when it comes to the winemaking team, there has to be a real passion and energy among us. On that note, I’m thrilled to introduce you to our newest members of the Ledson winemaking team!

David Ramey (left) and Andrew Bilenkij (right) join Winemaker Steve Ledson.

David Ramey, known around the world as one of the top winemakers in the industry, has joined the Ledson family as consulting winemaker. Ramey is widely known as one of the prominent pioneers who helped bring California wines to the forefront of the international wine world.

I’ve been friends with David for a long time, and I’ve always admired and been inspired by his innovative winemaking style. In February of 2012, Robert Parker said, “David Ramey is one of the few California winemakers who think in terms of structure, not just flavor, something that sets him apart from many of his peers.” Amen!

I’m a big believer that every time you do something, you should do it better. My dad always said, “Two minds are better than one!” So David and I put our heads together and went on the search for one of the best winemakers in the world.

We did a lot of research and poured over 150 resumes. One name really stood out: Andrew Belenkij.

Formerly winemaker at Cumulus Wines in South Wales, Australia, Andrew trained under one of the most acclaimed winemakers in the world, Philip Shaw, winner of the coveted “Winemaker of the Year” at the London International Wine and Spirits Competition in both 1986 and 2000. Andrew added to his expertise by working at some of the most prestigious wineries in France.

As we continue to add vineyards and source the best fruit, I always think of another one of my dad’s sayings. “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” That saying always comes to mind when I’m thinking about vineyards and grapes. You just can’t cut corners! For the last five years, I’ve been working with the highly esteemed viticulturist, Dr. Daniel Roberts. Roberts has consulted all over the world and has planted vineyards for some very well known wineries. His experience is unparalleled, and his addition to the Ledson team has done nothing but improve all of our vineyard operations!

Combined with our continued growing and sourcing of the best grapes available, I expect even greater wines to come out of our cellar. And that is saying a lot, considering the numerous awards we’ve been receiving on our recent and current releases. I’m always striving to improve!


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