Barbara Lindblom

Barbara Lindblom

Winemaking Strategies (Winemaking Consultant)

Barbara Lindblom is among the first women winemakers of California and thus has an extensive background in the wine industry. Her success in it was possibly presaged early on. Spending her childhood demonstrating a strong affinity for consuming grapes and conducting comparative flower aroma assessment and backyard experiments — where she specialized in flammable liquids, mud, and matches — all were an early indication that she had a future as a winemaker.

Her formal education includes a B.S. degree in 1972 from the University of California, Davis, and stints for one year each at the Institut d’Œnologie in Bordeaux and the University of Dijon, studying enology and viticulture, respectively, in 1986–1988. The academic work in France came after working as Laboratory Director for ten years under Zelma Long at Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley and Simi Winery in Sonoma County — their relationship continues, with the latest project being in Bordeaux for the 2011 vintage.

Her foray in France was designed to expand her winemaking perspective and vision. Toward that end, Barbara also worked full-time in research and production in addition to her academic studies. She did production work at Chateau Lynch-Bages, set up a new laboratory there for Daniel Llose, developed inoculation protocols, worked on vinification trials, and participated in production and blending tastings of the 1985 and 1986 vintages. She then became involved in a variety of trials with Jacques Lurton at Chateaux La Louviere and Bonnet. This was followed by work in the research laboratories of Moet-et-Chandon and doing everything from research to pruning with Maison Louis Latour.

Returning to the U.S. in 1988, she first worked harvest at Sonoma Cutrer and then became the winemaker at Grand Cru Vineyards in Sonoma Valley the following year. Three years later, she joined Marimar Torres Estate in Sebastopol as winemaker.

Barbara started her consulting career in earnest in 1994. In addition to vineyard-to-bottle winemaking for small producers — she was the first winemaker for Larkmead Vineyards in Napa Valley and Fanucchi Vineyards in Sonoma County — she partners with winery and grape-grower clients to do wine profiling, blend tastings, and other technical projects. Her long-term work with Sangiacomo Family Vineyards in Carneros reflects her particular interest in sensory evaluation and education. These interests have also led Barbara to work with other wine industry professionals, regional grape-grower and winery associations, equipment and materials suppliers, wine brokers, distributors, importers, etc., organizing technical tastings, seminars, and a wide range of other exercises.

In addition to her role as a consultant, Barbara often speaks at conferences and universities throughout the US and in Europe. A contributor to industry publications, she has also taught various wine classes at Napa Valley College and is currently an instructor for the Winemaking Certificate Program for Distance Learners offered by UC Davis Extension.

After more than 35 harvests, Barbara relishes the challenges and pleasures of making wine that genuinely expresses the land and the grapes from which it is made and believes that any wine, regardless of style or pedigree, is intended, and at its best, when shared and enjoyed with food, friends and family.