People

Winemaking

Sally Johnson

Winemaker

Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Sally attended the University of Michigan as an undergrad and became fascinated with winemaking while studying abroad in France.She credits the rich cultural history dating back thousands of years, the connection to the seasons in the vineyard, the hands-on craftsmanship involved in transforming grapes into wine, and the amazing complexity of wine’s aromas and flavors as among the many reasons she fell in love with the winemaking process.After completing her dual degree in French Literature and Biology, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Winemaking from UC Davis and began her career as a winemaker.

Sally spent eight years at St Francis Winery and Vineyards, worked a vintage in Australia at St Hallett Winery, and made three vintages of her own wine before joining the team at Pride. She is thrilled to be charged with handcrafting Pride’s distinctive wines. “Pride has such an incredible site. We are located at 2100’ elevation, where our vineyards are exposed to full sunlight from dawn to dusk as we are above the valley’s fog layer, and we are also protected from the extreme heat spikes that can cause shrivel and sunburn. 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, tasting in the caves with Associate Winemaker Romel Rivera and CEO/General Manager Steve Pride, or shoveling out tanks in the cellar.

Follow Sally on Twitter: @PrideMtnSally

Winemaking