Winemaker Wes Hagen is named Consulting Winemaker and Brand Ambassador for Miller Family Wine Company
June 30, 2020, Santa Maria, CA – Miller Family Wine Company, a division of the industry-leading Thornhill Companies, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Nagy as Winemaker for J. Wilkes Wines, a role he will serve in addition to Director of Winemaking for Miller Family Wine Company, while former J. Wilkes Winemaker Wes Hagen has assumed the role of Consulting Winemaker and Brand Ambassador for Miller Family Wine Company.
Nagy brings over 20 years of experience to his role as Winemaker for J. Wilkes Wines. A graduate of the University of California, Davis, Nagy began his winemaking career with Robert Mondavi in Napa before moving to his hometown of Santa Maria to work at Cambria Winery. For the majority of his career, Nagy served as Winemaker for Byron Winery – a position he held for 16 years prior to joining Miller Family Wine Company in May 2020. In addition to winemaking and viticulture, Nagy is skilled in budget planning, compliance, sales and marketing, and has continually proven to be a strong leader and communicator across all levels of winery operations.
Industry-leading winemaker Wes Hagen, who previously held the position of Winemaker for J. Wilkes Wines, will continue to work for Miller Family Wine Company as Consulting Winemaker and Brand Ambassador. Hagen’s extensive experience in wine started at Santa Barbara County’s Clos Pepe Vineyard, where he worked as Winemaker and Vineyard Manager for 21 years prior to joining J. Wilkes. Recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Winemakers in the U.S., Hagen played a significant role in positioning J. Wilkes as a leading producer of character-driven wines from the Central Coast, including the Santa Maria Valley, Sta. Rita Hills and Paso Robles Highlands AVAs. In early 2020, J. Wilkes was named one of the Top Ten Hot Brands of 2019 by Wine Business Monthly.
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen Wes help transform J. Wilkes into a top producer of highly nuanced Central Coast wines – wines which represent the pure characteristics of the region – and we are excited to continue to push the boundaries for what’s possible for the brand as we welcome Jonathan as winemaker,” says Marshall Miller, Vice President of Operations. “With Jonathan at the helm, who brings extensive experience and proficiency, and Wes lending his leadership and knowledge, we are confident that their collective efforts will elevate our winemaking program to new levels.”
“Wes has been instrumental in getting J. Wilkes to where it is today, and we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about having Jonathan on board to lead the next chapter for J. Wilkes wines,” agrees Nicholas Miller, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Wes had been moving into more content creation naturally as ambassador, especially over the last several months. Now that this newly elevated role is official, he can spend more time focusing on being our primary education interface with the trade and consumers, and we are thrilled to further enhance the J. Wilkes legacy, both in and out of the cellar.”
Miller Family Wine Company
Miller Family Wine Company is a division of the Thornhill Companies – the industry-leading umbrella brand of one of California’s premier winegrowing families, the Miller Family, who have been farming California’s Central Coast for five generations. Miller Family Wine Company manages acclaimed national branded wine labels, including J. Wilkes, Ballard Lane, Smashberry and Barrel Burner wines, control label brands for prominent retailers across the U.S., and French Camp vineyard in Paso Robles.
For more information on Miller Family Wine Company, please visit www.millerfamilywinecompany.com.