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Allison Wilson Appointed Director of Vineyard Operations at Domaine Carneros

13 February, 2024

Allison Wilson Appointed Director of Vineyard Operations at Domaine Carneros

Napa, CA February 2024 -  Domaine Carneros is pleased to announce the appointment of Allison Cellini Wilson as Director of Vineyard Operations effective January 2024.  In her new role, Wilson, will lead a dedicated team, overseeing six estate vineyards totaling over 400 acres in the Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA).  These estate vineyards, all located within a few miles of the winery, are renowned for producing premium fruit that forms the basis for Domaine Carneros’ esteemed méthode traditionelle sparkling wines and pinot noir program.   

Bringing over a decade of experience in vineyard management with expertise to her new position, Wilson is well equipped to navigate the complexities of sustainable certification programs, grower relations and integration with winemaking teams.  Prior to joining Domaine Carneros she spent nine years at Cliff Lede Vineyards, rising from Viticulturist to Director of Vineyard Operations.  

Wilson will lead a talented team including viticulturist Gita Mallya, assistant vineyard manager Jorge Flores and a crew of fifteen dedicated vineyard professionals.   Expressing her enthusiasm for this new chapter in her career,  Wilson remarked,  "I am thrilled to take on this role and collaborate with an experienced winemaking team to elevate our viticulture and vineyard management practices. Cultivating grapes for sparkling wine production presents an exciting challenge, and I am eager to implement best practices to enhance wine quality."

Under the guidance of CEO Remi Cohen, Domaine Carneros fosters a culture of mentorship and professional growth, and Wilson is poised to leverage her expertise to advance both her team and the winery's overarching objectives. Known for her commitment to excellence, Wilson's leadership extends beyond her role at Domaine Carneros, as evidenced by her involvement on the Napa County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, participation as a Mentor with the Bâtonnage Forum, and her contributions as a reviewer for the American Vineyard Foundation. Commenting on Wilson's hire, Cohen stated "I've had the pleasure of collaborating with Allison in the past, and her talent and expertise will undoubtedly propel our vineyard operations to new heights."

Wilson's profound understanding of  sustainable practices further fortifies Domaine Carneros' robust sustainability program, which holds certifications from CSWA, Napa Green, Bay Area Green, and Fish Friendly Farming.  Long recognized for conservation leadership, Domaine Carneros has earned prestigious accolades including the California Green Medal Business Award and the Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Award.

A native of Lafayette, California, Wilson's journey in agriculture began during her childhood visits to her uncle's vineyards.  Her passion for viticulture solidified during her studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where she pursued a major in Fruit Science. Her early experience working at a tasting room in Paso Robles crystallized her career path affirming her dedication to the art and science of winemaking.

Founded in 1987, Domaine Carneros reflects the hallmark of its founder, Champagne Taittinger, in creating terroir-driven sparkling wine and preserving the quality tenets of the traditional method production.  Located entirely within the Carneros AVA, between Napa and Sonoma counties, the six estate vineyards total approximately 400 acres with 125 acres planted to Chardonnay, 225 acres planted to Pinot Noir, with the remaining acres currently in development. The winery focuses on making ultra-premium Carneros sparkling wines and limited production Pinot Noirs.

Domaine Carneros' château has become a landmark and symbol of the region. The architecture and interior design were inspired by the 18th century Château de la Marquetterie, the historic Taittinger family residence in the Champagne region. Visitors to the chateau enjoy seated tastings of methode traditionelle sparkling wines and small-lot pinot noir in the elegant Jardin d’Hiver or on the broad terrace overlooking the rolling vineyards of Carneros. Domaine Carneros limited production wines are available onsite, via ecommerce, and are distributed nationally by Kobrand Corporation which, founded in 1944, remains one of the few family-owned wine and spirits companies in the United States.

The winery places a high value on preserving the environment and has taken on a vast array of environmental efforts. The roof of the pinot noir winery adjacent to the château hosts a solar array that was the largest on any winery in the world when it was installed and continues to be expanded with a state-of-the-art microgrid launched in 2023.  The most recent award, one of many from federal, state, and local government; was the California Green Medal for Domaine Carneros’ demonstration of “Smart Business through efficiencies, cost savings and innovation from implementing sustainable practices.”

For information, images and interviews please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles at Charles Communications Associates either by email or 415-730-0064.