Darice Spinelli

Darice Spinelli

Winemaker (Consulting Winemaker)

Darice Spinelli has a degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She began her career in the wine industry at Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyard. In 1990, she joined Franciscan Vineyards, and with her first vintage as winemaker, she attracted acclaim from the wine industry's toughest critics. Her tenure with Franciscan and eventual promotion to production winemaker afforded her the opportunity to produce wines from many growing areas, including the mountainous region of Mount Veeder; the flat, warm Cabernet country in Oakville; Rutherford, with its famed "Rutherford Dust" character; and regions as far south as the coastal climes of Monterey. She also produced wines for Franciscan's venture in Chile.

Recognizing a great opportunity to create single-vineyard wines on a smaller scale, Darice moved to join the team at Nickel & Nickel, a luxury brand, in 1998. During her many years as its lead winemaker, she established Nickel & Nickel’s wine style and led its explosive growth. She provided the knowledge for producing wines from specific terroirs in California as well as the uncompromising resolve to create the best possible wines from vintage to vintage. Nickel & Nickel now focuses on producing single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and a small collection of single-vineyard Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. After a very successful career there, she left Nickel & Nickel in 2018 and currently works as a consulting winemaker.

Darice lives in the Napa area with her husband and two sons. They are very much an athletic family that also loves nature and being outdoors. When she is not walking the vineyards, Darice can be found biking, cooking, or playing board games with family and friends.