Leslie Mead Renaud

Leslie Mead Renaud

Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery (Principal Winemaker)

Leslie Renaud was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1965. When she was 10 years old, her father was stationed in Honolulu, where he later retired from the Navy. After high school, she worked as a scuba diving instructor until she made the decision to return to the mainland to pursue a college degree.

She graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources, with an emphasis in aquatic resource management. Her appreciation for nature led to several years of working for the Forest Service in Oregon while “hooting” for spotted owls in the forests of Mt. Hood. Next she relocated to California where she worked as an urban forester with PG&E. Leslie’s career path took a significant turn when she applied for a position as a lab technician at Ironstone Vineyards in Calaveras County. She realized quickly that the wine industry’s combination of science and artistry was well suited to her own talents and interests.

Committing to a career in winemaking, Leslie moved to Sonoma County to be in the heart of the wine country. There she worked at Clos du Bois, Sonoma Creek Winery, and Hans Fahden Vineyards, adding to her knowledge base and further developing her skills. She later moved to Santa Cruz and became the production manager at Bonny Doon Winery. In 2005, she joined Talley Vineyards as an enologist, quickly moving up to assistant winemaker, and in January 2007, she was promoted to winemaker. She moved to the Foley Wine Group in August 2010, assuming duties as winemaker for both Lincourt Vineyards and Foley Estate. In 2014, Leslie returned to the Sonoma region to assume the position of Director of Winemaking at Roth Estates, after which she joined Purple Wine + Spirits as its winemaker. She has now moved on to be winemaker at Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery. Leslie continues to expand her knowledge of wines and winemaking and is enrolled in the WSET Diploma Program.

Leslie is a fan of the San Francisco 49ers and loves to travel. She also enjoys great food (both eating and cooking), extremely cold martinis, dogs, the outdoors, motorcycles, and convertibles. She and her husband, Tim, live in Windsor.