Emily Haines

Emily Haines

Terra d'Oro (Winemaker)

Emily Haines grew up in Juanita, WA, and after completing high school there in 2001, continued her education at Eastern Washington University. She was awarded a B.S. degree in Biotechnology and Biochemistry there in 2005. This major was not a signal of her intention to pursue a career in the wine industry, although the solid foundation in science that it provided would eventually prove to be invaluable.

Following graduation, she spent over two years researching Type 1 Diabetes at a VA hospital in Seattle, during which time she also had a part-time job in the tasting room of Woodhouse Family Cellars in Woodinville. The latter experience provided Emily with a behind-the-scenes look at winemaking. This drew her interest in all aspects of the process, ranging from selecting fruit to fermentation science to barrel ageing.

In a bold move, Emily quit her full-time job in mid-2008 to pursue a career in winemaking and has never regretted this decision. She started as a laboratory technician at Desert Wind Winery in Prosser, and a year later joined Wahluke Wine Company, a custom-crush facility in Mattawa, WA. Emily again started as a lab tech but quickly assumed additional responsibilities, ending up as winemaker eight years later. In mid-2016, she moved to Milbrandt Vineyards in Mattawa as its head winemaker.

California came calling in mid-2017, and Emily assumed the position of winemaker at the Terra d’Oro label of Trinchero Family Estates. Located in Amador County, the winery offered her the promise of new terrain, exciting challenges, and the opportunity to experiment in the cellar. In her own words, “Every decision we make impacts the wine in the glass, from when we pick the fruit to the yeast we use to start fermentation, to the toast level of the barrels. My approach is to experiment with those different elements to create balanced wines that ultimately showcase the unique terroir of our Amador County vineyards.”

The winery offers a number of varietals, including Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Petite Sirah, among others, as well as blends.