Jeff Fontanella - Our Winemaker
Jeff Fontanella has been making wine in Napa Valley for over a decade. He is a graduate of the University of California at Davis and holds a degree in Viticulture and Enology. Jeff began his winemaking career working in the cellars of Opus One and ZD and soon after took a position at one of Napa’s great cult wineries, Saddleback Cellars. At Saddleback, Jeff sharpened his winemaking skills under the tutelage of Nils Venge whom Robert Parker named as one of the 20 most influential winemakers in the world.
During his tenure at Saddleback, Jeff was challenged with the task of producing wines from 13 different varietals. He quickly honed his winemaking versatility and skill, and learned first hand how essential the proper vineyard selection and appropriate winemaking technique are in producing great wines. He currently utilizes this philosophy in the production of other small, focused brands such as Carter Cellars, Phipps Family, Jake Ryan Cellars, and Partridge Cellars, as well as his own label and winery, Fontanella Family Winery.
Jeff brings considerable skill and enthusiasm to Highlands Winery and we look forward to working with him to continue producing great wines.