Aaron Pott’s curiosity in wine began at the young age when he ordered a glass of milk in a venerable Parisian bistro. When the waiter responded—in halting perfect English—that “milk is for babies” and promptly produced a glass of watered down red, Pott realized that wine was a beverage of choice for adults and immersed himself in the world of wine trivia. Studying oenology at the University of California, Davis, Pott delved into all aspects of the theory of winemaking, including practical application by working part-time in the research laboratory at Robert Mondavi Winery. He completed his education with a master’s degree in Viticulture from the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France.
Pott immediately took the position of assistant winemaker at Newton Vineyard, under winemaker John Kongsgaard. It was at Newton—under the wing of his first great mentor—that Pott would be introduced to Michel Rolland. At many tastings with Kongsgaard and Rolland (set up by legendary wine collector Dade Thieriot), Pott tried to convince Rolland to find him a job in France—pulling hoses around a dark cellar and working on his language skills. Rolland soon sent word that he had found the ideal position—winemaker at Château Troplong Mondot, Premier Grand Cru Classé St. Emilion. Pott would thereafter become winemaker and general manager of Château La Tour Figeac Grand Cru Classé St. Emilion.
Pott worked for nearly six years making wine in France before returning to the States to take a position with Beringer Wine Estates. As a winemaker for the company’s international brands in France, Italy and South America, he had the pleasure to work with French winemakers Jean-Louis Mandrau, formerly of Château Latour and André Porcheret, whose resume included the Hospice de Beaune and Domaine Leroy. Pott’s duties expanded in 2001 as winemaker at St. Clement in St. Helena. In 2004, he accepted the position as winemaker and general manager at Quintessa. In 2007, Pott formed Pott Wine and Huis Clos Consulting dedicated to producing wines from different distinct terroir in the Napa Valley as well as consulting for a limited quantity of noble producers.
Pott lives at his self proclaimed “Châteauneuf du Pott” on the dizzying heights of Mt. Veeder with his wife Claire and daughters Tosca and Isolde.
What I thought was a fun college job—harvest and cellar assistant at Six Mile Creek in the Finger Lake region of New York—turned out to be my life-long passion. In 2002 I graduated college and returned home to the Philadelphia area. Here I had the opportunity to experience the challenges of making wine in a non-traditional wine region.
In 2005, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to live in the heart of Cote Rotie in France’s northern Rhone Valley to work for Pierre Gaillard. I had the time of my life, enjoying fine wines and broadening my perspective on winemaking philosophy.
Upon returning to the States, I worked at Cakebread Cellars before working under the tutelage of world renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs. After Hobbs I had the wonderful opportunity to make wine from some word-class vineyards at Adobe Road Winery.
This path has lead to Jericho Canyon Vineyard. I could not pass up the opportunity to work in the caves with the Jericho Canyon Estate fruit. It is an honor to come to work each day and work with such a passionate group of people.
Tara attended University of California at Davis where she studied Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior as well as Managerial Economics.
She has always had a passion for combining food and wine with science. As an undergraduate, she designed and taught an upper division course called “Biochemicals, Corticosteriods, Psychtropics, and You” that included a unit on alcohol biochemistry while conducting an independent research project on olfaction. Despite her busy schedule, she still managed to enjoy Friday night blind tasting parties with her viticulture and enology friends. At the dinner table, in the classroom, and in the fields, she cultivated a deep appreciation for wine and food.
She first came to Jericho as an intern in the summer of 2007. Although she enjoyed working in the fields and learning the intricacies and grape farming, she quickly learned that her true calling was the business side. In subsequent years, she helped with harvest, bottling, and designing marketing materials. Summer of 2012, she joined Jericho full time as Director of Business Development.
She loves meeting new people, sharing knowledge, and, of course, a good glass of wine.
…I met Dale when we were both training as astronauts for deep space missions to Mars.
We both washed-out. Me because I’m blind as a bat, and Dale because he does not like to travel faster than 50 MPH.
So when they acquired this property in 1989, I came here to help Dale and Marla with the installation and maintenance of the vineyard equipment and machinery. I have experience in shipyards, machine and fabrication shops, and vocational instructing, as well as a passion for working on vintage sports cars. I am always challenged by what this rocky-hilly terrain does to the machinery we use here. You don’t see it…but my effort is in the wine too.
I ran away from here two times but I’ve been here for the last thirteen years. The beauty of the canyon, the great wine, but most of all, the people that I get to work with keep me here. And, of course, my Bay Area Tango dancing…