Winemaking begins in the vineyard; carefully matching the site and varietal then selecting and harvesting fruit at just the right moment.  Flavors may be slightly modified through winemaking techniques, but a wine's unqiue flavor and essential character develop on the vine.

Michael Chupp

Winemaking Team

Jay Turnipseed - Winemaker

Jay joins Rutherford Wine Company with distinguished winemaking credentials in Napa Valley and Sonoma. For twelve years, Jay refined his skills as the Senior Winemaker at Franciscan Estate & Mount Veeder Winery, where he received recognition for crafting elegant Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals from Napa Valley’s diverse sub-AVA’s. Jay was also with Gallo of Sonoma as an Enologist working with Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnays.

Along with his degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis, Jay brings an outstanding breadth of knowledge and experience crafting premium California wines. He joins our talented team and will oversee winemaking for each brand within our diverse portfolio. Welcome to the team! 


Michael Chupp - Associate Winemaker

Mike joined the Rutherford Wine Company winemaking team in the Spring of 2015.

A graduate of U.C. Davis with a B.S. Degree in Fermentation Science, his “real world” education came while working his way through school as a wine server in a Sacramento restaurant- experience no university can duplicate!

Mike honed his craft working for several key industry players including Fetzer Vineyards, Global Wine Group and Smith & Hook Winery where he contributed to the creation of the hugely successful Rex Goliath brand.

He brings a unique breadth of experience having crafted wines sourced from many of California’s premier growing regions including Lodi, Monterrey and Mendocino Counties, Santa Barbara and Alexander Valley.