Home Industry News Releases Women for WineSense Winemaking & Viticulture Roundtable Will Host Writer Jess Lander, Wednesday,...

Women for WineSense Winemaking & Viticulture Roundtable Will Host Writer Jess Lander, Wednesday, April 20, 2022


NAPA / SONOMA, CALIFORNIA |April 15, 2022 On Wednesday, April 20, 2022,  from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. the Napa | Sonoma chapter of Women for WineSense’s (WWS) Winemaking & Viticulture Roundtable will host a conversation with The San Francisco Chronicle’s latest addition to their reporting team, long time wine country writer and critic, Jess Lander.  The combined in person and live non-recorded zoom event will be generously hosted in person with a virtual option at one of Napa Valley’s gems, Artesa Estate Vineyards and Winery, located at 1345 Henry Road, Napa, CA, 94559.

In January 2022, The Chronicle expanded to become the only U.S. paper to have two full time wine journalists, stating a goal of more frequent and comprehensive wine industry coverage.  This conversation is a timely update after a dynamic 2018 WWS Roundtable conversation with senior wine critic, Esther Mobley, when she joined The Chronicle and has since substantially expanded their noted vision and coverage.

Jess Lander will share her experience and views on reporting news in conjunction with Esther Mobley, wine writing, tasting, evaluating what wine stories and winery destinations appeal to their readers, platforms for their work, working with the press, major topics of industry importance along with members’ questions from the onsite and virtual attendees.

Early arrivals at Artesa will meet at 3:00 p.m. to enjoy time for mingling and catching up with peers and Ms. Lander while sampling estate wines and refreshments.  At 3:30 p.m. host Ana Diogo-Draper, Director of Winemaking, will lead a behind-the-scenes production tour.  At 3:55 p.m., the group will gather for announcements and be joined by the live non-recorded zoom participants, then enjoy the speaker’s comments, followed by a question and answer session.

Roundtable Chair Julie Lumgair notes, “This is an exceptional opportunity for winemaker and viticulture professional attendees to listen and interact with an expert from a noted publication expanding the depth of coverage and candor in our industry, then and ask their own questions in a very friendly, private and relaxed environment.”

Attendees are asked to bring a bottle or two of their wine as thanks for the both the host team and speaker.


Please, no walk-ins. The free meeting is open exclusively to active WWS Winemaking and Viticulture Roundtable member winemakers and viticulturists that have emailed and received RSVP guest confirmations through the Roundtable Chair.

To RSVP, or for any questions on this event or future WWS Winemaking Roundtable events, please contact the Chair, , Julie(at) Lumgair (dot) com).

For those not able to attend at Artesa, zoom private links for active WWS Roundtable members are available to those who register on or before Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at 5:00 pm.  The live event zoom log-ins open at 3:55 pm on Wednesday April 20, 2022.  The session features live attendee Q&A.  It will not be recorded.


Jess Lander is the wine reporter at The San Francisco Chronicle.  Based in Napa Valley, she has extensively covered California wine country and beyond for numerous national and international publications since 2014, including Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, VinePair, Wine Business Monthly, SevenFifty Daily and more.  In 2021, Jess published “The Essential Napa Valley Cookbook,” a project that raised more than $100,000 for Napa Valley restaurant workers impacted by the pandemic and fires.  She hails from Boston, where she studied journalism at Emerson College and started out as a sports reporter before making the switch to wine.


Thirty years ago, Spain’s oldest winemaking family, Raventos Codorniu, planted new roots in Los Carneros, building upon a 470-year winemaking legacy to create the next generation of estate grown, artisan wines, naming it Artesa, which is Catalan for “artisanal.”  Artesa is a sophisticated, joyful, Spanish-American brand that delivers authentic craftsmanship in small-production wines made with passion and shared with warmth.  Artesa’s Estate Vineyards are set in the steep foothills that straddle the Carneros and Mt. Veeder AVAs, in the Napa Valley. An ideal mix of topography and cool, coastal climate make their location perfect for growing their flagship Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In homage to their Spanish roots, and because they have the right terroir for these varietals, Artesa also produces both estate Albariño and Tempranillo.

Artesa’s winemaking team is led by Ana Diogo-Draper, Director of Winemaking. Born and raised in Portugal, Diogo-Draper joined Artesa in 2013, which saw the beginning of her influence of low intervention and component winemaking—focusing on one small lot at a time to express distinct parcels before composing the final blend.  Diogo-Draper brings to Artesa the influence of her European training while being inspired by the innovation and experimentation fostered in the United States.


The live event moderator team are long time WWS members Delia Viader, Founding Winemaker / President, Viader Vineyards and Winery, and Emma Kudritzki Hall, Winemaker, Mauritson Wines, who will be representing from their own experiences and a wide range of member views focused in Napa Valley, Sonoma County and spanning well beyond from Washington State all the way through Southern California, Mexico and the Eastern US wine regions.  They will be assisted with hybrid live / zoom moderating from Roundtable members Melissa Castro, Assistant Winemaker, Duckhorn and Migration Wines and Roundtable Chair, winemaker Julie Lumgair.

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Delia Viader has a Ph.D in Philosophy from the Sorbonne, studied business at M.I.T., enology at U.C. Davis and speaks six languages. Her parents ran in global business and diplomatic circles. Her late father, Walter, was her inspiration and staunchest supporter when she decided to establish Viader Vineyards & Winery in Napa Valley in 1986. Determined to find a home, build a business and establish a secure future for her family of four children as a single mother, she invested in remote, rocky land on Howell Mountain to build Viader Vineyards & Winery to produce small lot Bordeaux red blends. She consulted with leading oenologists and viticultural specialists: Michel Rolland and Dany Schuster of NZ and David Abreu and Tony Soter. VIADER’s first bottled vintage debuted in 1989 with just 1200 cases. In 2000, VIADER’s 1997 vintage, CS/CF blend was named #2 in The Wine Spectator Top 100 best wines of the world. The following year, VIADER’s 1998 vintage, red blend was ranked #3. Her son, Alan, has been VIADER’s winemaker since 2006.  She continues to serve as a long standing Napa Valley Vintners board member and international market ambassador.

Emma Kudritzki Hall grew up in southern Marin County. While completing her degree and All American water polo career from UC San Diego, her love for family and connections with agriculture, hands on labor and team work sent her on a five year mission pursuing winemaking opportunities throughout Sonoma County and overseas before heading back to school to get her winemaking degree.  After ascending roles at MacRostie and other wineries, she moved to Mauritson, applying the minimalist winemaking techniques practiced with pinot noir and chardonnay to Rockpile Zinfandels. In 2019, she was promoted to winemaker and now also consults for Mauritson Farms wine programs.  With her husband and partner in everything wine, Jesse, she started SEAWOLF wines in 2014; pushing the limits of hands-on, organic farming and natural winemaking.  She is also an associate professor at the Santa Rosa Junior College, guiding the next generation of winemakers.

Each of the live and virtual moderators’ years of experience with this unique professional Roundtable group and other industry leadership roles will contribute to a lively and inspiring conversation with our guest speaker and all attendees.


This WWS Roundtable meets approximately six times a year, taking a harvest break.  During the pandemic, events moved online.   Beginning in March 2022 events will resume in person at host member wineries with added virtual options.

Roundtable Program Committee member, winemaker Marisa Taylor, noted “Our past meeting topics have focused upon the C-suite professional skills and insights women winemakers and viticulture professionals need but aren’t always easy to get in their daily work environment.”

She further explained that, “Held online since Spring 2020 and held pre-pandemic at some of Napa and Sonoma’s finest host wineries, for over seventeen years our Roundtable programs have been a fantastic opportunity for over 100 member women winemakers  and viticulturists to connect directly, in a friendly professional forum, with experts that they otherwise wouldn’t get to meet for personal advice and questions.  Some of our recent speakers have included top wine publication critics and senior editors, iconic winemakers, leading academics, global sensory consultants, sommeliers, media trainers, CFO’s and GM’s in panel discussions and key recruiters.”

Professionally qualified winemaker and viticulture guests may attend up to two Roundtables before deciding to join.  It is a great way to expand skills while reconnecting and meeting new industry professionals.


WWS’ eight current professional roundtables serve to provide a welcoming and confidential environment to meet in small peer groups on a bi-monthly or quarterly basis. Members network, provide advice and support for one another, as well as foster educational occasions by inviting guest speakers in their fields and discussing ‘hot issues’ facing members in their day-to-day work. Multiple Roundtables have developed for WWS industry members in finance, accounting, human resources, winemaking/viticulture and marketing/direct-to-consumer fields.

The Napa/Sonoma Chapter currently has more than 400 members of which 80% are wine industry professionals. To join or learn more about WWS’ roundtables, please visit www.womenforwinesense.org.  For inquiries about other WWS roundtables for additional functions besides winemaking and viticulture, contact the Napa| Sonoma Chapter’s Roundtables Director, Hillary Silva, hillaryfrasersilva(at) gmail (dot) com.


WWS is a national not-for-profit organization 501(c)6.  The Napa| Sonoma Chapter founded in 1990 is the founding chapter of this national organization which provides outstanding educational and networking opportunities to both wine industry professionals and wine enthusiasts by presenting educational, insightful and stimulating events in a welcoming, fun environment.  Both men and women of legal drinking age are welcome to join.  There is an exciting line-up of events planned for 2022 and beyond.  To join or learn more, please visit www.womenforwinesense.org.

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