Susan Doyle

Susan Doyle

Riboli Family Wines (Vice President of Vineyards and Winemaking)

Susan Doyle was born in Tasmania, the island state of Australia. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in environmental science and post-graduate work in enology and viticulture at Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Her first winemaking position was at the Moorilla Estate in Tasmania, after which she was named an assistant winemaker at Yarra Ridge, Yarra Valley, Australia. It was in this region, known for its Pinot Noir, where she met Greg La Follette, a Pinot Noir winemaker from the Sonoma region of California. He invited her to work on the 1994 crush at Kendall-Jackson’s Harford Court Winery in the Russian River Valley. She then returned to Australia and New Zealand, advancing her career with positions at Pipers Brook, Tasmania, Orlando Wyndham Winery, South Australia, and Corbans Estate Wines in New Zealand, and developing a joint vineyard project in the Yarra Valley.

Working in California continued to be of interest to Susan, and she returned to work at Firestone Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley in 2000. She later joined Gallo of Sonoma as the winemaker for MacMurray Ranch in the Russian River Valley, with its acres of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vines. Susan believes that she was offered this position because of her passion for Pinot Noir and her experience in both the vineyard and the winery.

In 2010, Susan was named Director of Winemaking & Innovation at Diageo Chateau & Estates, which produces a range of wines from California, Italy and New Zealand, under a number of brand names. In this role she was responsible for the winery’s winemaking strategy, quality, innovation, and international winemaking portfolio. She became General Manager & Director of Winemaking & Vineyards at Spring Mountain Vineyard in 2014, leaving there in 2018. She was Vice President of Operations for West Coast Wine Partners until mid-2021, and now is Vice President of Vineyards and Winemaking with Riboli Family Wines, which is headquartered in Los Angeles.

With more than 22 international and domestic harvests behind her, Susan says she is looking forward to many more. She sees winemaking as both science and art. The science is knowing what you are doing, and the art is knowing when to allow terroir to speak.