Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver

Robert Mondavi Winery (Winemaker)

Lauren Oliver, a native Texan, grew up near San Antonio and earned her bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, in 2002. After graduating with a major in chemistry, she worked for four years in Harvard’s Study Abroad program. Given this, a career in winemaking might have seemed somewhat unlikely, but a series of serendipities and travel experiences led her in this direction.

Lauren has an inherent love of food and cooking and completed an internship at Cook’s Illustrated in 2004, an experience that firmly planted the food science side of culinary possibilities in her head. She enrolled in the University of California, Davis, two years later, intending to pursue a Ph.D. in Food Science. However, she soon noticed that students in the Viticulture & Enology department also deeply loved food and cooking; a trip to Chile and Argentina with these students to visit wineries convinced her that winemaking was a career that merited further consideration. She worked the 2008 harvest at Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma to test the winemaking waters and completed her M.S. in Food Science in 2009.

She gained further experience through internships in Spain (2009), Chile (2010), and Argentina (2013), and at Patz & Hall (2010) and Paul Hobbs (2013) in Sonoma County. These harvest positions paved the way for full-time jobs as the enologist for Marciano Estate in St. Helena (2014) and then as lab manager at Franciscan in the Napa Valley (2016). In 2017, Lauren was named assistant winemaker at Franciscan. In 2018, she joined the Robert Mondavi Winery team as assistant winemaker, subsequently taking on a winemaker title in 2020. As part of the winemaking team, Lauren participates in blending on all the Mondavi wines. During harvest and maturation, however, she works more closely with crafting Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Rosé and Moscato.

Lauren loves learning and will jump at any opportunity to develop new skills and branch out into new areas within the wine industry and beyond. Outside of the winery, she spends time traveling to various parts of the world, finding hiking trails with her boyfriend and dog, Doo, cooking, reading, and generally making the most of her time in the lovely Napa and Sonoma Valleys.