Jennifer Higgins

Jennifer Higgins

Lambert Bridge Winery (Director of Winemaking & Vineyards)

Jennifer Higgins was born and raised in Santa Rosa, CA, and grew up with Zinfandel in her blood. As an undergraduate student at the University of California, Davis, from which she graduated in 1992 with a major in biochemistry, her goal was a career in medicine. But while studying for the MCAT, a key examination required when applying for admission to a medical school, she was working in the tasting room at Simi Winery in Healdsburg. This brought her under the influence of legendary winemaker Zelma Long, who convinced her to pursue a career in the wine industry instead.

Jennifer began her journey to becoming a winemaker by spending two years in Italy, gaining experience in restaurant and wine sales. She then joined Simi as a laboratory technician. Following stints at William Hill Winery in Napa Valley, where her mentor was Jill Davis, in 1999 she moved on to Lancaster Estate in Sonoma Valley as assistant winemaker and then in 2004 as winemaker. There she worked with renowned wine consultant David Ramey, crafting limited-production, estate-grown wines. The influence of Davis and Ramey, as well as Zelma Long and Margaret Davenport, has shaped her winemaking philosophy and style through their belief that every decision made, from growing and harvesting the fruit to winemaking, barrel aging, and bottling cultivates the character of the wine that results.

After 11 years at Lancaster, she reunited with Jill Davis at Lambert Bridge Winery, where she continues to be committed to the art of hand-crafted wines, maintaining close relationships with growers, and using the latest in technical innovations for winemaking. In 2013, she was promoted to head winemaker and is now Director of Winemaking & Vineyards there.

Jennifer believes that her personality goes into every bottle. Her approach to viticulture reflects this, as represented by the quote, "I spend lots of time walking in the vineyard, developing an understanding of every row in every block. It's this understanding and an integrated approach to winegrowing that allows us to make wines that consistently honor and reflect the essence of the terroirs here in Sonoma County." Among other varietals, Lambert Bridge produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay.

Jennifer lives in Sonoma County with her husband, Ken, and two children. When her winemaking duties allow, she enjoys travel, scuba diving, gardening, and her family.