Kelly Woods

Kelly Woods

Burgess Cellars (Winemaker & General Manager)

Kelly Woods grew up in Santa Maria, a small town in the midst of the wine-growing region of California’s Central Coast. Influenced by this environment, she earned a degree in Viticulture & Enology at the University of California, Davis, before embarking upon her goal of becoming a winemaker.

Her first position after graduation was at Seavey Vineyards, where she fell in love with the mountain fruit produced in its hillside vineyards and the complexity of that terroir. This was followed by stints with Bryant Family Vineyard, and Sequoia Grove Winery, both of which are in the Napa Valley. She also gained international experience by working in New Zealand.

As the head winemaker at Burgess Cellars since 2013, only the second winemaker in the 45-year history of the property, she has been responsible for all the elements of winemaking, be they in the vineyard, the lab, or the cellar. She’s brought innovations to harvest, fermentation and aging protocols, with the support of a vineyard and cellar team willing to take a chance on her vision. She was promoted to Winemaker — General Manager at Burgess in early 2018, thereby expanding her role to include focus on hospitality, sales, marketing, and adminstration.

Kelly brings strong sensory skills and a broad knowledge of wine styles to her craft. She is making Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot, among other red varietals. Of particular note is her creating the Mountaineer Red Blend, comprising 45%Syrah, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Petit Verdot, which earned a 92-point rating from Wine Spectator in its initial vintage.