Judy Matulich-Weitz

Judy Matulich-Weitz

Laird Family Estate (Winemaker & Production Manager)

Judy Matulich-Weitz grew up in a California family that traveled the state tasting wines and, being “rock hounds,” collecting rocks. Although Judy’s own tasting experience at the wineries was grape juice as a youth, this was a formative experience for her. She initially intended to study Materials Engineering in college, but one of her professors knew that she loved wine and suggested that she attend the University of California, Davis, to study winemaking. So, in 1982 she enrolled there, earning a B.S. in Fermentation Science in 1984. In the course of her studies, she spent a quarter working at Chateau St. Jean as the first intern that winery had ever hired.

After graduation, she worked as a “cellar rat” at Mirrasou Winery until 1985, when she assumed the position of Winemaker for Inglenook Napa Valley. Her mentors there included Andre and Dimitri Tchelistcheff. In 1989 she started the Gustave Niebaum Collection, a group of single-vineyard wines that reflected the terroir of the particular vineyard producing the fruit. She also was the winemaker for Beckstoffer Sauvignon Blanc during this time. Judy added to her portfolio of wines in 1991, when she assumed winemaking for Christian Brothers in St. Helena.

By 1993, she had moved to Beaulieu Vineyards, making all its varietals except the Cabernet Sauvignon. All the while, she continued to make the wines for Inglenook until it was sold in 1994. This prompted her to move to Buena Vista Carneros as Vice President of Winemaking, producing the wines for Buena Vista, Haywood Winery, and Robert Stemmler Winery.

Leaving Buena Vista in 2004 for a brief respite from the demands of being a winemaker, she joined Laird Family Estate in 2006 and is currently its Production Manager/Winemaker. In this position, Judy works with some 25 winemakers for over 60 different wineries. She somehow still finds time to make a number of different varietals, ranging from Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc to Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot.

Through her career, Judy has had the privilege of working at five of the most historical wineries in California, namely, Mirassou, Inglenook, Beaulieu, Christian Brothers, and Buena Vista.