Leo Tellez is the new winemaker for Ackerman Family Vineyards in the Napa Valley.

A third-generation Napan, Tellez’s great-grandfather moved to Napa Valley from Jalisco, Mexico, and bought one acre of land back in 1950. His grandfather spent his career at Charles Krug Winery, and his father devoted more than 25 years at Robert Mondavi Winery until the winery was sold in 2004, Ackerman stated.

Tellez pursued viticulture and enology classes at Napa Valley College and started his first winemaking internship at Kapcsandy Family Vineyards in Napa Valley. In 2012, he joined winemaking consultant Denis Malbec as his assistant winemaker working with wineries including Kapcsandy, Blankiet, Repris, Captûre, Notre Vin and Sodaro Estate.

In 2016, Tellez joined Sodaro Estate in Coombsville full time as its winemaker, working with viticulture consultant Michael Wolf and the family to craft their small-production cabernet sauvignon wines. He will continue to make the Sodaro Estate wines.