August 18th – Pride Mountain Vineyards is pleased to announce that Matt Ward, formerly of Atelier Melka, has joined the team as Winemaker.
Steve Pride: “Matt is an amazing young man. Through his hard work, inquisitiveness and experimentation, he has developed as much insight into all aspects of the winemaking process as any winemaker I have ever met … and he is just getting going in his career! His combination of kind personality, natural leadership skills and winemaking intelligence is just what we need at Pride Mountain Vineyards to continue our evolving 30-year quest of making the best wines we can from our property.”
Born and raised in the Midwest, Matt packed up his car in 2010 and followed his dream of making wine to Northern California. Under the mentorship of Kerry Damskey, he rose quickly through the production ranks in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley to become a cellar master. Still hungry for knowledge after asking all the questions he knew to ask, Matt pursued graduate studies in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. Upon receiving his Master of Science degree, he accepted a harvest position at Screaming Eagle and spent seven months in the cellar there before heading to New Zealand to lead a team making Bordeaux varieties at Craggy Range. Back in California for harvest 2017, Matt joined Atelier Melka, where he has been making wines for over 20 client wineries these past five years, managing over a hundred ferments each year from vineyards across all of Napa and Sonoma. As associate winemaker to his mentors, Philippe Melka and Maayan Koschitzky, Matt has produced some of the finest recent wines to come out of Napa and Sonoma, garnering an impressive number of 100-point critical reviews for his many distinct wines.
Matt Ward: “I am thrilled to join the Pride team as winemaker. The vineyards, apart from being absurdly beautiful, produce wines that are pure expressions of the unique site. Director of Winegrowing, Steve Pride, and the team he has drawn to his orbit are wonderful and have welcomed me with open arms. I look forward to working alongside Steve to elevate, and define, Pride Mountain Vineyards for many years to come.”
About Pride Mountain Vineyards
Pride Mountain Vineyards is located on 235 acres draped across the crest of the Mayacamas Mountains which is also the county line separating Napa from Sonoma. Founded in 1990 by Jim and Carolyn Pride, the winery has been owned by their children Suzanne Pride Bryan and Steve Pride since 2004. The 85 acres of vines benefit from south-facing exposures, reside above the marine fog layer and are blessed with cool afternoons, a distinct combination that results in complex structured wines with concentrated flavors that nonetheless remain fresh and nuanced. In addition to its uniquely situated vineyards, the property includes a production facility with 23,000 square feet of caves, charmingly understated tasting room and the ruins of the historic Summit Ranch Winery, built in 1890.
Pride Mountain Vineyards is proud to have been served at the White House more than 30 times and of its inclusion in Robert Parker Jr.’s book, The World’s Greatest Wine Estates. Since 2013 when Trip Advisor first named Pride Mountain Vineyards as the best winery to visit in the United States, the guest experience has continued to evolve and improve with the goal of making each visit as friendly, fun, informative and personable as possible.