Jillian Johnson DeLeon

Jillian Johnson DeLeon

Onesta (Winemaker & Owner)

Jillian Johnson DeLeon found her passion for wine while studying neurobiology at UC Davis. Home brewing introduced her to the magic of fermentation, and after taking the "Introductory to Winemaking" class at the University of California, Davis, she quickly switched her major to Viticulture and Enology. Soon after earning her degree in 2001, she soon was found traveling the globe, making wine in McLaren Vale (South Australia), Margaret River (Western Australia), and Stellenbosch (South Africa). After three years of hopping among hemispheres, Jillian settled at Bonny Doon Vineyards near Santa Cruz, where her relationship with Rhone varieties deepened.

Now a truly seasoned winemaker, Jillian has started her own passion project, Onesta. She is an artist with a scientific mind, and her artistic expression is manifested in her wines. She believes life should be filled with family, good friends, and adventure. Knowing that life is short, her concept is that by living by truth and honesty, you will find peace and happiness. Jillian’s advice is to connect with the people in one’s life and enjoy wine on a regular basis. Her wines are a library of her life, and each year tells a different story and adventure.

Jillian's wines speak the truth of each growing season, and each vintage is a new adventure for her, as she rides the waves provided by Mother Nature. Her promise to herself and her devotees is to deliver wines with personality and depth every year. Her wines are made with passion and love, just like she lives her life. Jillian’s hope is that every sip of an Onesta wine will ignite the soul with passion and enthusiasm for living life to the fullest.

Aside from her own wine brands, Jillian works as the West Coast sales manager and technical winemaker for Laffort USA. Her experience working in large- and small- scale wineries has given her the expertise to find solutions to most winemaking situations in the cellar. She enjoys helping winemakers improve their protocols, trouble-shoot difficult wines, and educate people on the technologies available today. Because of her skills, she is known as the "Wine Doctor" of Napa Valley.