People

Winemaking

Sally Johnson

Winemaker

Sally's journey to the top of Spring Mountain was a windy one.  Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, she was planning a career in the Biotech industry when she headed overseas for stints in Brittany and Paris, France to complete her college language requirements.  While soaking up the Continental lifestyle, she became fascinated by the rich history of the wine industry, its connection to the seasons, and the craftsmanship involved in creating a distinctive cuv'e. She returned home and completed a dual degree in French Literature and Biology at the University of Michigan, and her next step was to enroll in U.C. Davis's Master's Degree program in Enology.  At Davis, her research centered on the effect of deficit irrigation on flavor development in Cabernet Sauvignon, leading to a passion for Cabernet Sauvignon that has blossomed during her winemaking career. 

After leaving Davis, Sally joined the team at St Francis Winery & Vineyards in Sonoma County, CA, first as enologist and moving up to winemaker during her eight year tenure.  She took a brief hiatus in 2002 to work a harvest at St Hallett Winery in Australia's Barossa Valley, returning to California with wine-stained hands, steel-toed Rossi work boots and an appreciation for old vine Shiraz and dry Riesling.  She also made Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah under her own label for several years.

In 2007, Sally joined the team at Pride Mountain Vineyards. Having been a devotee of Pride wines for many years, she is thrilled to be charged with handcrafting our distinctive wines. "Pride has such an incredible site. The diversity of the soil types, our southern exposure and our block-by-block approach to managing 46 individual vineyard blocks within an 83-acre ranch all add up to fruit with awesome potential. My job is to coax out the expressive, extracted wines that are synonymous with Pride Mountain. It's a dream job!

Happy to dive into every aspect of winemaking, Sally can often be found hiking through the vineyards with her dog, Roxie, tasting in the caves with associate winemaker Romel Rivera and owner Steve Pride, or shoveling out tanks in the cellar. She looks forward to a long career as part of the Pride family.

Winemaking