“The best impression a winemaker can leave on his wines is his footprints in the vineyard.”
Director of Winemaking
Lisa Amaroli began her journey in the wine industry in 1996 shortly after graduating from Sonoma State University with a degree in Biology and Chemistry. Residing and working in Europe for several years before college, Lisa gained a perspective into “living” with food and wine lifestyle and discovered her love for wine. Lisa was introduced to the wine business from the ground up, first working in the vineyards, then venturing into roles in the lab and operations before joining the team at Benziger Family Winery in 1999. Lisa is passionate about cultivating our Certified wines from our Biodynamic and Organic farmed properties. “I believe the wines are a reflection of the land and of the people who work so hard to bring the wine from grape to bottle and ultimately to the consumer.” When not making wine, Lisa is an avid horseback rider and traveler. At home, she enjoys cooking and is forever looking for the perfect wine and food combination.
Growing up on a family farm in Nebraska, Jarold Mackling is a natural fit as Vineyard Manager at Benziger Family Winery. Jerry moved to California in 1986, working his way to Vineyard Manager at Kunde Family Vineyards over the course of 31 years. Upon departure from Kunde, he took on the role of Viticulturist for Redwood Empire Vineyard Management overseeing multiple properties in the Russian River, Dry Creek, Chalk Hill and Alexander Valley AVAs. Over the years, he cultivated a wonderful relationship with the Benziger family, and of course enjoyed their wines! In February of 2019, having the experience of managing multiple vineyard sites, Jerry started as Vineyard Manager at Benziger overseeing 9 vineyards throughout Sonoma County.
Estate Vineyard Manager
Vineyard Foreman, Joaquin Corona has led our estate vineyard team through the challenges of Biodynamic® farming for over 20 years. Joaquin’s bond with the land is demonstrated by the steely clarity with which he approaches the daily demands and complexities of viticulture. “Some plants grow too much, and some not enough. It’s my job to understand why,” he explains. Joaquin’s abiding spirit and reverence for nature are an inspiration to me personally and integral to Biodynamics. We couldn’t farm this way without him and the entire vineyard team.
Jose Ortiz has seen a lot of changes since he first came to work for the Benziger Family Winery in 1983. Asked how he views the evolution, Jose comments, “We always had great people, now the environment reflects that.” In his first year, Jose worked in the vineyard. Soon after, he transitioned to work inside the winery and now supervises all cellar work. Jose has taken the companies conservation goals to heart. Even in the cellar, he advises, “We have to be very careful to use only the water that we need. And electricity, too.”