Marin County’s O’Neill Vintners & Distillers names chief winegrowing officer
Juan Muñoz-Oca is the new chief winegrowing officer at Larkspur-based O’Neill Vintners & Distillers.
“Juan possesses extensive winemaking and viticultural experience, with a deep understanding of team dynamics and leadership. At our Parlier and Paso Robles wineries I strongly believe that Juan will bring great energy supporting our teams. From winemaking, grower relations and client relationships, Juan is the perfect fit to forward our sustainability ethos and be an integral part of growing our portfolio of brands,” said founder Jeff O’Neill. “We could not be more excited to welcome Juan into the O’Neill family.”
O’Neill founded the certified B Corporation in 2004. It makes national brands such as Line 39 wines and Rabble as well as exclusive brands like Agitator wine and spirits.
The company stated that Muñoz-Oca will lead a team of winemakers across two California wineries, in Parlier and Paso Robles, making wines for O’Neill’s national brands as well as exclusive and private label wines for customers. In addition, he will lead the grower relations team, partnering with over 180 California sustainably certified growers farming 15,000 vineyard acres for O’Neill’s production, the winery stated.
He first joined the winemaking team at Terrazas de Los Andes, an Argentine premium winery owned by LVMH. After multiple harvests in Australia, France, and Spain, Munoz-Oca moved to Washington and joined Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 2001, most recently responsible for overseeing grape growing and winemaking at all of their properties in Washington, Oregon and California.
Muñoz-Oca holds dual degrees in agricultural engineering as well as enology and viticulture from the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, and is a graduate of Columbia Business School at Columbia University in New York City.