Nancy Freire

Nancy Freire

Vino Fino Consulting (Owner)

Nancy Freire is a winemaker who specializes in small estate wineries. Her formal education and early professional career do not represent a path traversed by many winemakers. She first earned a bachelor’s degree in 1984 in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and this was followed by a master’s degree in 1991 in electrical engineering with an emphasis on signal-processing algorithms from Santa Clara University. This led her into the “high-tech” industry.

Nancy worked at SRI International for nearly 12 years as a senior research engineer before moving to Corsair Communications in 1997 for four years, where she managed two major software releases. This was followed by a year at Workspot.

In 1998, she and her good friend Lise Ciolino, a fellow “techie” who went on to found Montemaggiore Winery in Sonoma, started home winemaking as hobbyists. Nancy decided to turn her hobby into a career in 2001. She supplemented her technical education with courses in winemaking and vineyard management at the University of California, Davis, and the University of California, Santa Cruz, and then worked as assistant winemaker at wineries in Amador County and Santa Clara Valley. In 2002 she founded her own company, Vino Fino Consulting, which installs and manages vineyards for a handful of private (non-winery) estates.

Nancy was also the winemaker at Vidovich Vineyards in Cupertino from 2003 to mid-2020, where she produced Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietals. She was a consulting winemaker at Fortino Winery for a number of years and an assistant winemaker at both Morgan Hill Cellars (formerly Pedrizzetti Winery) and Kirigin Cellars.

Nancy is a native Spanish speaker and a past president of the Bay Area Winemaking Association, an organization devoted to winemaking education through lectures and events.