Jaime Dowell

Jaime Dowell

West Coast Wine Partners (Winemaker)

Jaime “JJ” Dowell was born in San Diego and is a fifth-generation Californian. She earned a B.S. degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California, Davis, in 2000, and two years later undertook internships in the Napa Valley at Artesa Vineyards and Winery, Cardinale Winery, Atalon Winery, and Lokoya. That same year, JJ grabbed the opportunity to work in her family’s art gallery in Pleasanton, CA. Over the course of nine years, she and her employees built the East Bay’s largest art gallery, specializing on an eclectic mix of high-quality art, sculpture, blown glass, jewelry, wood, ceramics and custom framing.

Six years after accepting the role of owning and managing the gallery, JJ returned to winemaking on a part-time basis by becoming the winemaker for Crooked Vine & Stony Ridge Winery in the Livermore Valley. The three years in which she divided her time between the gallery and the winery convinced her that her true passion was in winemaking, so she made the bittersweet decision to sell the gallery in 2010.

JJ then headed for New Zealand, where she managed production of a high-end Pinot Noir at Villa Maria Estate in Blenheim. Returning from the Southern Hemisphere to California in time for the 2011 harvest, she joined Bonny Doon Vineyards in Santa Cruz as assistant winemaker under Randall Grahm. This was followed by a move to Alpha Omega Winery in Rutherford, where she became fast friends with winemaker Jean Hoefliger, working as his associate winemaker until the summer of 2017. Jean’s 5-year mentorship shaped JJ to take the helm of winemaking at Round Pond Estate in Napa in 2017, where she produced Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Nebbiolo, and red and white blends, among other varietals. She then transitioned to the role of consulting winemaker in 2019. In 2021, she joined West Coast Wine Partners as winemaker for its Lake Sonoma Winery and Valley of the Moon labels.

JJ is an avid yoga practitioner, specializing in the Ashtanga tradition and is busy six mornings a week bending and stretching. Evenings and weekends are spent keeping up with Izzy and Emma-Roo, two energetic rescue dogs that are “the two loves of her life,” and working on her home in Napa. Other activities include music lessons for singing and piano as well as volunteering for the Napa Valley GrapeGrowers to add back to the farm workers who are the true backbone of this wonderful industry in Napa Valley.