Jennifer Rue

Jennifer Rue

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.

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 Lab Technician, working under the mentorship of Gary Brookman and Frances Rojas and rising to the position of Lab Manager. In early 1998, 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 beginning in 2006.

Jennifer moved to Trent Moffett in 2007 in the role of Winemaker and applies her holistic winemaking philosophy, focus, and scientific approach to the Moffett, Screenplay, and C&T Cellars wines. Because of her philosophy that “It’s got to 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 Napa Wine Company, a custom-crush house, where she oversees the barrel aging programs and benefits from association with other notable winemakers of the Napa Valley.

In 2014, Jennifer joined Anne Vawter to become on-site winemaker at Oakville Ranch, one of Anne’s major clients. Other positions she holds include Associate Winemaker at Hoopes Family Vineyards, Red Mare Wines, and Laparita Cellars. She and her husband, John Cornutt, have a joint project, Invisible Hand, for which she is Winemaker.

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.