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.
Born and raised in California’s Silicon Valley, Kurtis Ogasawara had a clear vision of what his future would look like, and grapes were not involved. A longtime competitor, Kurtis earned himself a spot on the Division I wrestling team at UC Davis and began majoring in Mechanical Engineering, looking forward to seamlessly graduating into the technological lifestyle he left at home. All of this changed when he enrolled in a freshman year course called “Introduction to Winemaking.”
Immediately enamored with winemaking’s blend of art and science, Kurtis changed to the Viticulture and Enology department, and began interning as a laboratory technician at Mumm Napa, where he learned the ins and outs of a winery and gained hands-on experience. After graduating in 2011 with a successful college wrestling career under his belt and a B.S. in Viticulture and Enology, Kurtis landed a job as a laboratory technician at Domaine Chandon. There he worked closely with the winemaking team to hone his skills and develop his own unique style. His efforts were well-received and he quickly transitioned into the role of enologist at the lauded Newton Vineyard in St. Helena, CA.
During his time as an enologist, Kurtis wore a variety of hats. From managing and training harvest staff, to conducting wet chemistry analyses and coordinating wine blending sessions, Kurtis gained valuable experience in virtually every aspect of winemaking and viticulture. In 2015, after three years at Newton Vineyard, Kurtis took his well-rounded winery knowledge to Oakville as the assistant winemaker at the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery, and was promoted to winemaker in 2018. Kurtis was appointed Director of Winemaking in April 2023.
Working with a world-renowned winemaking team led by Chief Winemaker Geneviève Janssens, Kurtis has contributed his talents to a number of estate wine programs since his arrival, including the 2016 Burgundian varietals and the winery’s iconic To Kalon Vineyard bottlings. In January 2023, To Kalon Vineyard achieved organic certification through California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), in which he played an integral role in hitting this milestone. Working for Robert Mondavi Winery has been “like a dream,” Kurtis says. “The amount of history here is staggering,” he enthuses, “and the opportunity to learn from Geneviève, who has so much accumulated wisdom, is an unbelievable opportunity.” Kurtis lends his vast experience to helping shape Robert Mondavi Winery’s future legacy as the winery continues a historic transformation to cement its stature as the defining fine wine leader in Napa Valley.
Kurtis lives in Napa with his wife and their two daughters. When he’s not in the vineyard or winery, he enjoys cooking and sharing fine wine and cold beer with family and friends.
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.