Kimberlee Nicholls

Kimberlee Nicholls

Markham Vineyards (Winemaker)

After graduating with a degree in biology from Willamette University, Kimberlee moved from the small coastal town of Long Beach, Washington, to California. In 1989, her desire to use her biology degree led her to Napa Valley’s Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, where she began working as a lab technician. Her attention to detail and strong analytical skills resulted in her accepting the position of lab director. John Gibson, former winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, saw in Kimberlee still another talent, which her urged her to use. This talent had to do with her tasting skills. Confident in her innate ability, he encouraged her to “always trust in your palate.”

In 1993, Kimberlee joined Markham Vineyards as enologist to establish an extensive laboratory program and become an integral part of the winemaking team. After four years of hands-on experience in the vineyards and in the winery, she was promoted to associate winemaker in 1997 and then to winemaker in 2001.

Kimberlee’s interest in all facets of the industry, from grape growing to wine blending and lab work, as well as 12 years of experience in California wineries, led to her appointment as winemaker at Markham Vineyards. Markham produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc.