Dana Epperson

Dana Epperson

Migration (Winemaker)

A third-generation resident of Sonoma County, Dana Epperson grew up in the heart of wine country, graduating from high school in Sebastopol. During her youth, she discovered winemaking from Sarah Quider, a family friend and noted winemaker. This relationship inspired Dana to study food science and take courses in wine analysis at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, earning her B.S. degree there in 2006. While an undergraduate, she augmented her formal academic training with practical experience through an internship at Ferrari-Carano in Healdsburg. This solidified her commitment to becoming a winemaker.

Following completion of her bachelor’s degree, Dana held the position of viticulture technician at Ferrari-Carano for a year and one-half, gaining valuable hands-on experience in the vineyard. She followed this with a two-year stint as enologist at Edna Valley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo and then three and one-half years at Artesa Vineyards & Winery in the Napa Valley. In the latter position, she was assistant winemaker and the lead winemaker for Elements by Artesa. Dana was also responsible for grower relations encompassing some 25 different properties. Her mentor at Artesa was winemaker Mark Beringer, and she says of the experience, “Mark taught me to have a light touch as a winemaker and to create classic, balanced wines.”

In early 2013, Dana joined Jamieson Ranch Vineyards in the Napa Valley as winemaker, and after a year and a half moved on to Duckhorn Wine Company, also in Napa, as associate winemaker and then winemaker for Decoy, a position she held until mid-2016. A year later, she became the winemaker for Etude, a brand of Treasury Wine Estates, remaining there until March, 2018. This afforded her the opportunity to gain additional experience working with small-lot luxury Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production. Dana rejoined Duckhorn Wine Company as winemaker for Migration after leaving Etude, and became Vice President of Winemaking Sonoma & Mendocino in January, 2019, while retaining her role at Migration.

Dana is noted for a refined and compelling style of winemaking that seamlessly balances vibrancy and finesse. In her own words regarding her role at Migration, “As a winemaker, Migration provides an incredible opportunity to explore Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from two very different perspectives. Because our primary focus is the Russian River Valley, I am able to explore the character of one of the world’s greatest regions for Burgundian varieties in a deep and meaningful way. At the same time, I am given the freedom to work with acclaimed sites outside the Russian River Valley to show how our Migration style expresses itself when using grapes from some of California’s most revered vineyards.”