Toni Stockhausen

Toni Stockhausen

Bennett Valley Cellars (Winemaker)

Toni Stockhausen was born in 1961 in New South Wales, Australia, where her father had immigrated just prior to her birth to take a winemaking position at the then tiny Lindeman’s winery. Growing up, Toni spent a lot of time at her father’s side, learning as much as she could soak up. In short, it would be accurate to say that Toni Stockhausen’s winemaking talents were predestined. Her upbringing was the perfect combination of nature and nurture, or more aptly expressed in wine industry terms, the perfect combination of terroir and clones.

After earning a B.S. in Human Physiology from the University of Sydney in 1983, Toni returned to her winemaking roots by working part time as the assistant winemaker at Tisdall Winery in Victoria. While there, she attended Charles Sturt University and received a degree in Enology and Viticulture in 1990. In 1986 she was promoted to winemaker at Tisdall, a title she held until departing in 1994.

She moved to Mildara Blass after the Foster’s Group acquisition of the winery in January, 1990. Her talent, hard work ethic, and “can do” attitude thrust her into a key role at Foster’s. During the next six-year period, Toni traveled to Europe to visit family in Germany and made trips to taste her way through Burgundy and the Rhône Valley. Her exposure to European wines, as well as the great wines from Australia and California, has shaped her winemaking towards a more classical style.

Foster’s sent Toni to Meridian Vineyards in Monterey County, CA, in 1999 to oversee the production of their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay varietals. After buying Windsor Vineyards in 2000, Foster’s relocated Toni to it, where she was the winemaker until 2007. She then spent two years as winemaker for Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery in Mendocino and was subsequently named chief technical winemaker for American Tartaric Products (ATP). When the owners of ATP bought the 40-acre Simpatico Ranch in the Bennett Valley, Sonoma County, Toni was tapped as winemaker for their new Bennett Valley Cellars venture. There, she works closely with owners Emilio and Luca Zanin to produce limited-production Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from their estate grapes.

Toni resides in Cloverdale with her husband. She is an avid reader and enjoys traveling, camping, fishing, mountain biking, and cooking (especially with wine!).