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John McClelland, Wine Industry Pioneer Passes Away


Santa Rosa, CA – Wine industry pioneer John McClelland passed away peacefully on December 5, 2018 with his family by his side. He is survived by his wife Ann, son John and daughter Kristen.

A Career Devoted to California Wine

John McClelland has left a permanent stamp on the California wine industry. His 60-year career includes stints as the President and General Manager of Almaden, Geyser Peak and Alderbrook. He served as Chairman of the California Wine Institute and has held leadership positions at the Wine Growers Association and the Wine Educators Associates. His knowledge of varietal history was encyclopedic, and he remained active in the industry until his death, acting as an advisor to Anthony Scotto III and winemakers Paul Scotto, Mitch Cosentino and Mark Smith to craft award winning Napa Valley wines for J. McClelland Cellars, a brand named in McClelland’s honor in 2015.

“I learned most of what I know from John McClelland,” comments Anthony Scotto III. “It was a tremendous opportunity to work with one of the legends of California wine – and I jumped at the chance! John joined me in 2004, and he was by my side ever since. It was an honor to release wines with John’s name on them. He has been an instrumental part of the industry, he has been extremely influential for me and my family’s wine business, and I will miss him tremendously.”

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