Jill DelaRiva Russell

Jill DelaRiva Russell

Cambria Estate Vineyard and Winery (Winemaker)

Jill DelaRiva Russell grew up in Castro Valley, California, and fell in love with wine while in high school when she worked as a server at a winery in Livermore. She subsequently moved to San Luis Obispo (SLO), where she earned a B.S. degree in Wine and Viticulture at the California Polytechnic State University in 2009. She built on her formal educational background by making wine with her peers, visiting the various wine winegrowing regions throughout California, and twice taking time off from school for an internship in Adelaide, Australia, and working a harvest at a winery near SLO.

Jill started her professional career as assistant winemaker at Stephen Ross Wine Cellars from 2009 to 2014 and completing a harvest with Domaine Henry Pelle in Menetou-Salon near Sancerre in the Loire Valley. During harvest there, she worked alongside the winemaker and rounded out her trip by tasting her way through the iconic wine growing regions throughout France. Returning to California in 2015, Jill accepted a position as assistant winemaker at Paul Lato Wines, located in the heart of the Santa Maria Valley. There, she focused on producing Pinot Noir from fruit grown in Santa Maria valley and the Sta. Rita Hills.

Jill was named Winemaker for Cambria Estate Vineyards and Winery in July 2017. As a passionate advocate for the wines of Santa Maria Valley, Jill is in charge of expressing the character of the wines produced from fruit from Katherine’s and Julia’s Vineyards, two esteemed vineyards in Santa Barbara County named after the winery’s second-generation proprietors. The vineyards are sited some 500 feet above sea level and yield distinctive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

Outside of the winery, she and her husband love to pair wines with what they are cooking, and this includes pairing a crisp glass of Chardonnay while barbecuing! They also are enthusiasts with respect to hiking, dining out, and researching new wines and other wineries.