“The best impression a winemaker can leave on his wines is his footprints in the vineyard.”
Director of Winemaking
Lisa Amaroli has been a vital part of the Benziger Winemaking team since 1999. She graduated from Sonoma State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in both biology and chemistry. Previously, she worked at Martini and Prati Winery as a Production Manager. Lisa is responsible for determining styles for Benziger wines through collaborative tastings and initiates implementation in wine processing. Lisa currently is the Winemaker, making our Estate/Biodynamic and organic wines and leads the winemaking on Commercial brand.
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.”