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 joined Jordan Vineyards & Winery in the Russian River Valley, a family-owned winery that focuses on producing Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. 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. Maggie 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 14 years of working closely with Jordan’s long-time winemaker, Rob Davis, Maggie replaced him as head winemaker in Summer 2019. She still works closely with Davis, who now oversees grape growing for Jordan. 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. In recognition of her winemaking talents, she received two important recognitions in 2020: North Bay Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list and Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40.

Maggie resides in Windsor with her husband and daughter. When not at the winery, she enjoys cooking, reading, and hiking with her family. She loves to travel and is a rabid supporter of the Green Bay Packers.