Jill Davis

Jill Davis

Lambert Bridge Winery (Winemaker Emerita)

In the interview she gave to the LA Times several years ago, Jill said that during the summer between her junior and senior years of high school, her father was offered some Zinfandel fruit, provided that he would pick the grapes. Jill accompanied him to harvest the fruit and then spent time trying to learn how to make wine. Once her high school classes began in the fall, she began asking her biology teacher about making wine, which prompted the instructor to point her in the direction of the University of California, Davis.

Jill graduated from Davis in December 1978 with a bachelor's degree in fermentation science, and worked under Beringer Vineyards' master winemaker, Myron Nightingale. In December 1982, she then joined Buena Vista, one of California's oldest wineries, as assistant winemaker. Jill was named the winemaker in 1983, at the age of 27. She was mentored through her twelve vintages at Buena Vista by Andre Tchelistcheff.

In 1994, she moved to William Hill Estate Winery in Napa, where she developed its signature style and unique flavor profile. She transferred to Lambert Bridge Winery in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley in 2005 to guide the creation of its next generation of wines. Lambert Bridge produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay, among other varietals. During the following decade, her responsibilities increased and she became the Vice President and General Manager of the winery. She stepped down from this position in March 2015, serving as the winery’s Consulting Winemaker until 2018. She is now its Winemaker Emerita.

Throughout her career, Jill has been a frequent lecturer on wine and wine production. She consulted with several small wineries in the Napa/Sonoma area and taught the Wine Production course for the Certificate of Winemaking Program offered by the UC Davis Extension.

Jill shares the lifestyle she loves with her spouse of many years who works as a filmmaker. When Jill is not involved in wine-related activities, they are likely to be found watching the ocean waves somewhere along the Sonoma Coast.