Linda Trotta

Linda Trotta

Bread & Butter Wines (Winemaker)

WX Brands (Director of North Coast Winemaking)

Linda Trotta’s future career in the wine industry was foreshadowed by the fact that Teresina Family Vintners was named for the Trotta family’s grandmother, who paired her culinary talents with her husband’s handmade wines. Like all of Teresina’s grandchildren, Linda was introduced to the craft of winemaking early in life, thanks to the family’s annual home-winemaking events. Her decision to major in Fermentation Science—she earned her B.S. in 1986—at the University of California, Davis, delighted her grandparents, as did her subsequent decision in 1983 to spend her junior year abroad studying in Italy. While there, Linda set aside her wine course-work to study Italian art history at the Universita` degli Studi di Padova. Her first interaction with a commercial winery was a harvest at Santa Margherita Winery in the Veneto region of Italy.

Winemaking thoroughly hooked Linda, and her professional winemaking adventure began in 1986 with a harvest internship at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in the Sonoma Valley. She then had a two-year stint as a laboratory technician at Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma. Following this, she spent 19 years with Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma, where she started as winemaker in 1989 and ultimately rose to being director of winemaking and winegrowing. She produced highly acclaimed wines from the winery’s estate vineyards and led the winemaking and vineyard departments. While at Gundlach Bundschu, she went to the Southern Hemisphere for two harvest positions: first in 1997 at the Santa Monica Winery in the Rapel Valley of Chile and then in 2003 with the Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons in the Noorder-Paarl area of South Africa, expanding on the global perspective on winemaking that she began in Italy. She also served as the consulting winemaker from 2005 to 2010 for her family’s wine project, Teresina Vintners.

Linda moved to the state of Washington in 2010 as the head winemaker for Swiftwater Cellars. At Swiftwater, she developed a winemaking program that delivered her signature style of balance and elegance to wines made from Columbia Valley grapes, which have very different profiles than those grown in California's North Coast.

After crafting five vintages of wine at Swiftwater, Linda returned to Napa in 2015, joining Delicato Family Vineyards in the role of North Coast Winemaking & Grower Relations person. She also established Linda Trotta Consulting at the time. In early 2016, she was hired as the winemaker for AWDirect, LLC in Santa Rosa and in mid-2017 became the winemaker for WX Brands—Jamieson Ranch Vineyards in the southern end of Napa Valley. There, she managed production of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Merlot, among others. She was named Director of North Coast Winemaking for WX Brands in 2021. Linda is also the winemaker for Bread & Butter Wines in the Napa Valley. Recognition of the quality of her wines is reflected in her being named Napa Valley Winemaker of the Year for 2020 by the North Bay Business Journal.

Linda spends much of her free time in her home garden, which includes tending a fig tree that originated from a cutting of the tree her great-grandfather grew in his garden. She is also the "Winemaking Forum" chair for WINE WOMEN, a non-profit championing the advancement of women's careers in the wine industry. In 2022, she was named to the Board of Directors of BarrelWise Technologies in British Columbia.