Maggie Kruse of Sonoma County's Jordan Vineyards & Winery wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award
Responsibilities with your company: I oversee all aspects involved with the crafting of our Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon and Russian River chardonnay from grape to bottle.
In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?
I am so fortunate to work with an incredibly talented and amazing team, my focus is to continue to motivate and improve in hopes of creating an even happier and stronger team.
Years with company: 14
Length of time in current position: 9 months
Number of companywide employees: 85
Number who report to you: 5
Greatest professional accomplishment: Working my way up to being named head winemaker at a company I love.
Greatest professional challenge: Learning how to give bad news.
Best advice received: On my first day of college, my mom told me to stay away from the punch at parties. I guess it was her version of “Make good choices.”
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: During the 2019 fires, there was a period of three days where we could not get to the winery for any kind of work.
While I was so grateful the winery was still standing, I was incredibly nervous about what state the wines would be in. The moment I was able to rush up to the winery and smell the tops of all our fermenting tanks, I was so relieved the entire vintage tasted great.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?
The winery is actively working to reach out to the next generation of wine drinkers. We have changed our guest experiences to make them more interactive.
Throughout the country we have tried to modernize the traditional winemaker dinner, by hosting more regional parties and tasting events. We try to make ourselves more approachable by filming monthly tasting videos and an occasional fun music video.
Next professional goal: Work on becoming more of an engaging public speaker. Education: Bachelor of Science degree in viticulture and enology from the University of California Davis
Community/nonprofit activities: I volunteer at my daughter’s school and try to help as many people in my circle.
Mentor/admired businessperson: Rob Davis was the winemaker at Jordan for 44 years, and I had the privilege of working alongside him for 14 of those years. Rob taught me how to craft Jordan wines and most importantly, taught me to always improve and never settle.
What is your most disliked industry buzzword?
Typical day at the office: They are rarely the same and I love it. Sometimes I start my day at the winery, in a vineyard or on the road working to sell our wines.
Best place to work outside of your office: Any one of the beautiful vineyards we source fruit from.
Hobbies: Cooking, reading, hiking and I live for the Green Bay Packers
What you wanted to be when you grew up
#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: Travel as much as I can.
First job: Cleaning underground garages for a property management company.
Social media you most use: Instagram
Favorite book: “The Hot Zone”
Favorite movie: “Love Actually”
Favorite App: SkyView
Favorite after-work drink: Champagne
Last vacation: Kauai
What does your mom or dad brag most about you?
The fact that I get a discount on wine at most wineries.