The 23rd Annual Nantucket Wine & Food Festival: May 15-19, 2019

Jon Emmerich


Silverado Vineyards
Napa Valley, CA

Jon is only the second lead winemaker in the history of Silverado Vineyards. During his years at the winery, he has grown Silverado’s reputation for quality and consistency. As a kid growing up in Redwood City, Jon remembers his parents drinking Mateus Rosé and Blue Nun, popular wine brands in the 70s. Jon’s introduction to California wines began at The University of California, Davis where, on a lark, he enrolled in the Fermentation Science program. It was then that he was introduced to the greater world of California wine.


As it turns out, Jon’s lessons took place not only in the classroom but also in his dorm room. He and a dormmate, whose family owned a small farm and winery in Lodi, decided to use some of the family fruit to make wine in their dorm room. At that point, Jon realized that if he could make a decent red blend in a dorm room, then he could make a really good wine in a winery.


In 1985, Emmerich headed to France for an internship where he augmented his knowledge of the traditional winemaking craft. After graduating from The University of California, Davis in 1987 with a BS in Fermentation Science, Emmerich worked a harvest at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. He then spent a year at Conn Creek Winery and Sebastiani Vineyards before joining Silverado Vineyards in 1990. Winemaking is just one part of what Jon does at Silverado Vineyards. He spends a lot of time on the road, meeting customers and carrying the Silverado story outside the Napa Valley. He works in Silverado’s estate vineyards to better understand the terroir and tell its story through the wines.