Susan Reed

Susan Reed

Winemaker (Emerita)

After earning a B.A. in general biology at San José State University, Susan worked for a short time at Mt. Diablo State Park and then moved on to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for three years while conducting research in the Biomedical Division.

When she moved to Sonoma County in 1981, Susan took a position as a laboratory technician for Simi Winery. Under the direction of winemaker Zelma Long, she was exposed to the multifaceted world of winemaking. Within months, she was promoted to senior laboratory technician.

In 1984, Matanzas Creek Winery, a small, quality-oriented winery in the process of expansion, was looking for someone to engineer and run its new laboratory. Susan got the job as laboratory director. In 1989, Matanzas Creek Winery was in the market for a new winemaker, and she was hired alongside then cellar master Bill Parker to take over the job. As winemakers, they intensified their experimental efforts, and Susan proved indispensable to the winery’s overall quality and continued success. In 2001, Matanzas Creek Winery was sold to Jess Jackson, and after a transition period, Susan decided to move on to other interests. She worked for a time with her husband in his business and traveled extensively throughout Arizona.

The wine bug bit again when she inquired about helping Gary Farrell during the 2003 harvest. She was hired and became associate winemaker in July 2004 with responsibilities of overseeing the lab and the cellar, and was promoted to winemaker in 2006. She subsequently joined Geyser Peak Winery in 2012 for one year, where she was assisting Ondine Chattan in winemaking activities.

When not busy with the day-to-day rigors of winemaking, Susan enjoys spending time with her family, hiking with her husband and dog, traveling, and gardening.