Jennifer Rue

Jennifer Rue

Invisible Hand Wines (Winemaker & Owner)

Oakville Ranch (Winemaker)

Jennifer Rue’s interest in wine began early, and she still recalls her disappointment for not being able, at age 14, to purchase a bottle of wine to pair with the Father’s Day dinner she was preparing. She was not to be denied, however.

A native of Santa Monica, California, Jennifer earned a B.S. degree in biology from the University of California, San Diego, in 1994, minoring in Spanish Literature. The latter interest led to her studying abroad for a year at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid as part of her college education. After working briefly in the environmental sciences field, Jennifer opted for a career in winemaking in 1995.

Her first position was in the tasting room at Franciscan Oakville Estate, but soon she became a laboratory technician, working under the mentorship of Gary Brookman and Frances Rojas. She joined Oakville Ranch Winery as its laboratory manager in early 1998. That same year, Jennifer became part of the founding winemaking team at what became Miner Family Winery, beginning in the lab and working the last five vintages of her tenure there as assistant winemaker, a role that ended in 2008. But this wasn’t all that she was doing while at Miner. For example, she was winemaker at Flying Horse Winery from 2003 to 2009 and compliance officer at Clark Claudon Vineyards from late 2006 to early 2016.

Jennifer moved to Moffett Vineyards in 2007 in the role of winemaker and until leaving there in mid-2017, applied her holistic winemaking philosophy, focus, and scientific approach to the Moffett, Screenplay and C&T Cellars wines. Because of her philosophy that “It’s gotta smell good and feel good to be good,” she strives to produce lush, balanced, and aromatically interesting wines.

She added to her portfolio of responsibilities in 2010 by becoming assistant winemaker at the Napa Wine Company, a custom-crush house, where she oversaw the barrel-aging programs for three and one-half years, benefitting from association with other notable winemakers of the Napa Valley. Jennifer was also co-winemaker at Hoopes Vineyard from 2014–2020.

In 2014, Jennifer joined Anne Vawter to become on-site winemaker at Oakville Ranch, one of Anne’s major clients. Another position she currently holds is as associate winemaker at Red Mare Wines. She and her husband, John Cornutt, have a joint project, Invisible Hand Wines, for which she is the winemaker. There, Jennifer sees success when her hand is invisible with only the voice of the vineyard coming through clearly.

When not immersed in winemaking, Jennifer enjoys performing science experiments with her son, spending time with her husband, and doing gardening and urban chicken farming, among other activities.