Aimée Sunseri

Aimée Sunseri

New Clairvaux Vineyard (Winemaker)

Nichelini Winery (Winemaker)

Aimée Sunseri was destined to become a winemaker and viticulturist. Her family owned Nichelini Winery in St. Helena and Boeger Winery in Placerville, so she gained years of vineyard and winery experience growing up. After graduation from the University of California, Davis, with honors in Viticulture and Enology, Aimée’s first job was at New Clairvaux Vineyard, where she was involved with its first plantings in 2000. The vineyard and associated winery are part of the Abbey of New Clairvaux, a community of Cistercian or “Trappist” monks that was founded in 1955 when the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky sent a group to California to begin a new monastery to relieve overcrowding at the motherhouse. As winemaker at the monastery, she makes Albarino, Trebbiano, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petit Sirah, among others.

Aimée returned to her “roots” when she became the lead winemaker at Nichelini in 2009, the seventh in the succession of family members in this role. As a fifth-generation California winemaker, she manages the 60-acre vineyard her great-great-grandfather and great-grandfather planted in the foothills of St. Helena and crafts the Cabernet Sauvignon, old-vine Zinfandel, and Muscadelle de Bordelais, along with other wines, for which the winery is noted. Aimée oversees the entire grape-growing and winemaking process from bud break to bottle.