Denise Clarke

Denise Clarke

Altipiano Vineyard & Winery (Winemaker & Owner)

Denise is the winemaker for Altipiano Vineyard and Winery in the Highland Valley area of Escondido in San Diego County, grape-growing region prior to prohibition. Inspired by a visit to southern Tuscany, she and her husband Peter both fell in love with the tranquility of the countryside and views of the beautiful vineyards. A wildfire destroyed their avocado grove in 2007, and this prompted them to replace it with 3600 grapevines in June, 2008.

Denise released her first wines in 2012. Her focus as a winemaker is on Italian varietals, including the Estate Brunello Sangiovese, Sangiovese Blends, and Barbera.

She deems it a privilege to join the company of the wonderful mentors in the area who have guided her on her career as a winemaker, an undertaking that she has approached with passion and humility. Nature has provided the path, life has provided the energy and tradition has provided the journey. Denise hopes always to be a student pursuing the perfection that leads us all to experience the Music of Wine!

Before becoming a winemaker and co-owner of the winery, Denise was in Human Resources for the Department of Defense and served in the United States Air Force. She holds a B.A. degree in Human Resources Management and Services from Ashford University in San Diego.