Maggie Kruse

Maggie Kruse

Jordan Vineyard & Winery (Winemaker)

Maggie Kruse was born in Milwaukee in 1983, and given the reputation of that city for producing beer and the fact that her father spent his career working at Miller Brewery Company, it comes as no surprise that she became fascinated with fermentation science at an early age. She grew up watching her parents enjoy a good bottle of wine with dinner on weeknights—her father was in love with the climate and life style of the Napa and Sonoma areas—and frequent family vacations to wine country piqued Maggie’s interest in a winemaking career.

A move to the Napa Valley after high school graduation was driven by her fledgling passion. While awaiting acceptance into the viticulture and enology program at the University of California, Davis, Maggie was enrolled at Napa Valley College. She tackled internships between semesters at UC Davis, and her first harvest at Clos LaChance reaffirmed her belief that she was destined to make wine. At Davis, she also worked in the laboratory of Dr. Hildegarde Heymann, a noted sensory scientist, thereby developing her skills at sensory analysis.

After graduating from UC Davis in 2005 with a B.S. in viticulture and enology, Maggie worked for Jordan Vineyards & Winery in the Russian River Valley, a family-owned winery, before transitioning to the laboratory there in 2006. She worked closely with faculty at UC Davis on programs directed toward improving wine quality by fine-tuning barrel and cork selections as well as the bottling process. She was promoted to assistant winemaker in 2009 and began overseeing all aspects of barrel ordering, control of cork quality, and bottling, as well as managing cellar work. Her dedication to quality has taken her to Portugal several times to learn about cork-making and to the forests of Bordeaux to study barrel-crafting.

After 13 years of working closely with Jordan’s long-time winemaker, Rob Davis, Maggie was appointed head winemaker in Summer 2019. As Winemaker, Maggie oversees all aspects of managing the day-to-day operations in the cellars, including experiments in quality control, fermentation monitoring, selecting and inspecting barrels, blending, batonnage, selecting corks, and bottling and labeling. She still works closely with Rob Davis, who now oversees grape growing for Jordan. The winery focuses on producing Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Maggie resides in Windsor with her husband and daughter. When not at the winery, she enjoys cooking and traveling with her family.