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

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.


Born and raised in Croatia, Jelena fell in love with winemaking as a young girl - while stomping grapes with her grandfather. The grape and olive harvests on the picturesque island of Hvar have always been her family’s favorite time of the year. 

She graduated from the University of Zagreb with a B.S. in Viticulture, Enology and Pomology, later joining Rutherford Wine Company in 2011 as our Enologist.

Steve Rued - Consulting Winemaker

Born in Healdsburg, California and raised on his family's vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley, Consulting Winemaker Steve Rued, graduated with a degree in fermentation science from UC Davis.

After a year at Kenwood Vineyards, Steve ventured to South Africa to work for Stellenbosch Farmer's Winery. In 2000, he returned to Kenwood Vineyards as the Winemaker, and joined Rutherford Wine Company in 2005 as Senior Winemaker. Steve's winemaking philosophy reflects a lifelong love and appreciation for winegrowing.

Terry March - Cellar Master

Terry March, Cellarmaster, has been with Rutherford Wine Company for more than 30 years. He is a fourth generation Californian who grew up working along side his father in the family's vineyard. Terry went from farming grapes to winemaking in 1976 when he joined Louis Martini Winery.

Terry's experience not only puts him at the top of his profession but his expertise has been invaluable to Rutherford Ranch.