Genevieve Janssens

Born in Morocco to a French family, and raised in France, Geneviève received her National Diploma of Enology 1974. She then returned to her family’s vineyards in Corsica and France, which she managed until 1977.  Concurrently, she also owned and operated her own enology laboratory in Provence and served as consulting enologist to many French châteaux in the mid seventies.

Drawn to the Robert Mondavi Winery’s philosophy in winemaking and winegrowing, Genèvieve moved to the Napa Valley in 1978, where she recognized in Robert Mondavi her father’s holistic approach to quality.  From 1978–1979, she fully absorbed this philosophy, workingat the Robert Mondavi Winery as a lab enologist, working closely with Lucien Sionneau and Tim Mondavi on the inaugural, 1979 vintage of Opus One at Robert Mondavi Winery.

In 1989, she became Director of Production at Opus One Winery. Then, in 1997, she came full circle as the Director of Winemaking at the Robert Mondavi Winery. With her unique background, Genèvieve brings a different sensibility and culture to the Robert Mondavi Winery’s winemaking team, with whom she meets regularly to taste wines, discussing style and vision.

Geneviève Janssens, Chief Winemaker for Robert Mondavi smiling amidst the grapevines.
Sally Johnson Blum winemaker in front of vines holding a glass of red wine.

Sally Johnson Blum

Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Sally Johnson Blum attended the University of Michigan as an undergrad and became fascinated with winemaking while studying abroad in France. She credits the rich cultural history dating back thousands of years, the connection to the seasons in the vineyard, the hands-on craftsmanship involved in transforming grapes into wine, and the amazing complexity of wine’s aromas and flavors as among the many reasons she fell in love with the winemaking process. After completing her dual degree in French Literature and Biology, she obtained a master’s degree in winemaking from UC Davis and began her career as a winemaker.

Sally spent eight years at St Francis Winery and Vineyards, worked a vintage in Australia at St Hallett Winery, and made three vintages of her own wine during the early years of her career. In 2007, she joined Pride Mountain Vineyards as the second winemaker in the estate’s history, following in the footsteps of Robert Foley. Sally coaxed elegance and nuance out of Pride’s big mountain reds, and wore many other hats including vineyard team liaison, grower relations, tolerable forklift driver, pinch-hitting pump-over specialist, and the winery’s fastest and most unflappable dumper of glass on the mobile bottling line. Sally’s many accolades during her time at Pride include two Robert Parker 100-point scores, two wines on the Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines list, multiple wines featured in White House state dinners during every administration of her tenure and being named #3 on Glamour magazine’s “Top 10 Most Badass Women Winemakers” list.

Kurtis Ogasawara

Growing up in Sunnyvale, California, Kurtis lived just outside of wine country in the Bay Area. When he went off to college, he moved even closer to wine country and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology from U.C. Davis. When asked why he wanted to become a winemaker he said, “It is the perfect mix of science and art; wine is something you can create to enjoy with family and friends.”
Kurtis began his career in California wine, working with sparkling wine at Domaine Chandon and Mumm Napa then moved further up the valley to Newton Vineyard where he was an Enologist. Drawn towards the idea of working for a historic winery and vineyard, Kurtis began his career at Robert Mondavi Winery in 2015 as the Enologist, and in 2017 joined the winemaking team as Assistant Winemaker and in 2018, Senior Winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery. 

Image of Kurtis from winemaking team.
Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, Lauren fell in love with all things cooking and food. Her aptitude for chemistry and mathematics led her to pursue a degree in chemistry. During her studies, her love for both food and science blended, leading Lauren to discover her passion for wine. She went on to earn a master’s in food science from U.C. Davis, with a focus on viticulture and enology.

Lauren began her winery experience as an intern at Sonoma’s Gloria Ferrer Winery, eventually moving onto Patz & Hall and Paul Hobbs Winery. She traveled abroad to Spain, Chile, and Argentina, honing her winemaking skills, and picking up new talents along the way. Upon returning to California, she worked as an enologist at Marciano Estate under famed winemaker Andy Erickson.

Lauren joined the Mount Veeder team in 2016 as lab manager and ascended to the role of assistant winemaker in May of 2017, where she worked alongside Director of Winemaking Janet Myers until 2018. Lauren assisted Robert Mondavi Winery while at Mount Veeder through early 2019. Today Lauren is winemaker for both Robert Mondavi Winery and Mount Veeder Winery.

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