Gina Giugni

Gina Giugni

Lady of the Sunshine (Winemaker & Owner)

Gina Giugni grew up in the Sierra Foothills on her parents 90-acre biodynamic ranch, Narrow Gate Vineyards, which was founded in 2004. She earned a degree from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, where she studied winemaking. While in school, Gina worked the 2014 vintage in the Edna Valley. After graduating, she spent the next several years traveling to various wineries to hone her skills, working in Beaujolais for the 2015 vintage and then spent the first six months of 2016 at a vineyard and winery on the South Island of New Zealand. The next six months found her back in the U.S. at a winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, and this was followed by employment for most of 2017 at a small winery on Howell Mountain in California’s Napa Valley. In that year she launched her own winery, Lady of the Sunshine.

At Lady of the Sunshine, Gina is a second-generation biodynamic farmer and winemaker, following in the footsteps of her father. She has applied regenerative and biodynamic farming practices to the 6.5-acre Chene Vineyard, which she considers to be the winery’s home vineyard, and it is now Demeter certified. Gina’s winemaking philosophy is to make wines that, in her own words, “focus on farming, prioritizing organic and biodynamic vineyard sites, and making wine without additives or manipulation. The ultimate goal is to make fun, fresh, what we call, breakfast wines, that are built on the mantra, "know your farmer." All of her wines are fermented using native yeast, natural acidity, minimal amounts of sulfur, no fining or filtering, and neutral French barrels. Gina subscribes to Old World–style foot treading with her white wines before pressing and fermentation, and uses this technique for color extraction in the production of Rosé.

Inspired by the traditional practice of blending Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay followed in Cheverny, a sub-region of France’s Loire Valley, Gina is producing her own version of the blend, aptly called “Chevey.” She also offers Pinot Noir, Primativo, and Rosé, along with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

Gina is also involved in another winery, Scar of the Sea, in San Luis Obispo, where her husband Mikey is the winemaker.