Laura Roach

Laura Roach

Loubud Wines (Winemaker & Owner)

Laura Roach was born and raised in Woodland, CA, the county seat of Yolo County. She attributes her appreciation and passion for working with the land to her maternal grandparents who owned several acres of farmland in Woodland, where they grew their own food and where she spent many happy weekends growing up.

Her grandmother piqued her interest in winemaking as a result of reading a local newspaper article about a woman winemaker whose interests aligned with Laura’s. As fate would have it, Laura had just been accepted for entry into the University of California, Davis, in 2006, and the conversation with her grandmother prompted her to enroll in an introductory course in winemaking. The instructor was Hildegard Heyman, whose enthusiasm for the wine industry inspired Laura to delve more deeply into the field. This included working harvest at Schramsberg Vineyards in 2008.

Laura earned a B.S. degree in Viticulture & Enology in 2010 and was awarded a prestigious scholarship from the Confrerie des Chevaliers in Burgundy, France. This allowed her to undertake an internship at Domaine de la Vougeraie in Nuits-Saint-Georges, a Burgundy winery that focuses on producing Pinot Noir. Her five-month stay there exposed her to cellar operations, e.g., barrel and tank cleaning, and to vineyard work, such as pulling secondary shoots and opening up the canopies.

Realizing that to expand her knowledge she needed to gain experience with different winemakers, different regions of the world, and different varieties of grapes, Laura embarked on a series of harvest internships that included stints at Vrede en Lust Wines in Paarl, South Africa, in 2011, Dalla Valle Vineyards in the Napa Valley in the fall of that year, and Delheim Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2012.

Returning to the U.S., she joined Sanford Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley in August, 2012, as enologist, and was promoted to assistant winemaker three years later, her current position there. She selected Sanford because she felt it necessary “to stay at one winery for an extended period of time, to work with the same vineyard year after year to learn how to make better wine” and to satisfy her desire to focus her talents on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay produced in a cool-climate appellation. Moreover, “[her] curiosity was piqued about making sparkling wine in Santa Barbara County.” So in 2013, Laura spearheaded the winery’s sparkling wine program, a successful and rewarding endeavor. She augmented her knowledge of working with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and méthode champenoise by doing a harvest with Stefano Lubiana Wines in Tasmania, Australia, in 2018.

Laura started her own project, Loubud Wines, in 2015. Sandra Newman, the owner of Cebada Wine & Forbidden Fruit Orchards in Cebada Canyon, was a key to making this happen. Sandra inspired Laura as a female entrepreneur and opened up the opportunity for making wine at her location and to purchase her Pinot Noir fruit. As a young entrepreneur with a passion for winemaking, Laura is making rosé of Pinot Noir and sparkling brut rosé produced according to méthode champenoise.

Laura lives in Solvang.