Fetzer in Mendocino County names 1st woman winemaker in winery’s 5-decade history

Margaret Leonardi has been appointed winemaker by Fetzer Vineyards, becoming the first woman to lead winemaking for the brand in its 50-plus-year history, the Hopland company announced.

She’s worked for the wine company in Mendocino County since 2015 and recently was in charge of the label’s wine whites. The new post elevates her to the job of overseeing Fetzer’s entire brand collection this year.

“This is an exciting moment for Fetzer, and I am proud to embark on the next chapter of the brand’s enduring legacy in California,” Leonardi stated in the announcement on Wednesday. “It feels good to know we are creating delicious wines that people love, while helping to build a more sustainable future

The company reported that Leonardi grew up on an organic dairy farm in Northern California and studied agribusiness at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, including a minor in wine and viticulture.

Before joining Fetzer Vineyards, she ran a pilot program experimenting with unique grape varieties and crafted award-winning wines for a diverse array of celebrated brands.

She was also recently named a North Bay Business Journal Forty Under 40 award winner.

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