Margo Van Staaveren

Margo Van Staaveren

Chateau St. Jean Winery & Vineyards (Winemaker & General Manager)

Margo Van Staaveren graduated from the University of California, Davis, in 1979 with a B.S. degree in Fermentation Science. Shortly thereafter she joined Chateau St. Jean as a laboratory technician in 1980. She had worked her way up to being named assistant winemaker by 1989, and then was promoted to associate winemaker. Margo was designated as winemaker and director of operations for Chateau St. Jean in August 2003, and continues to work there. During her long tenure with the winery, Margo has played a pivotal role in every facet of the winemaking process. As winemaker, she makes the final decisions involving blend and style to produce consistently high-quality wines in the super-premium and luxury categories.

Margo believes that great wines are grown, and she is fastidious about choosing the best vineyards to source her fruit. She also believes that blending is an art. To her, one of the greatest accomplishments is to create a wine style or signature blend that carries from vintage to vintage while still capturing the uniqueness of that particular growing year.

Chateau St. Jean produces between 350,000 and 400,000 cases a year and roughly half of that is their well-known Sonoma County Chardonnay. The other varietals include Viognier, Riesling, Fume Blanc, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon (including the famous Cinq Cepages Cabernet Sauvignon). Most of these wines are vineyard designated and available only at the winery. Of the 30 wines that Margo and her crew carefully craft, only 10 of them are available for national distribution.

Margo and her husband met at Chateau St. Jean Winery & Vineyards, where they were both employed at the time. Their children were born and reared during the time that Margo has been at Chateau St. Jean.