Ferrari-Carano hires new consulting winemaker

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery of Healdsburg has hired winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown to consult on its cabernet sauvignon program, starting with its 2017 vintage.

Brown gained acclaim for his work at Schrader Cellars, a Napa Valley cult winery, and was named Winemaker of the year for 2010 by Food & Wine Magazine.

“He has inspired careful attention to detail in our vineyard blocks that will help us achieve more balanced flavors and ripeness in our wines,” said Sarah Quider, executive winemaker for Ferrari-Carano, in a statement.

Brown said in a statement that he was particularly attracted by the opportunity to work with Ferrari-Carano’s Alexander Valley and Knights Valley vineyards, specifically the winery’s newest, Maacama Ranch.

“Both Alexander and Knights Valley are emerging areas for cabernet, especially with a new focus on quality in the region,” Brown said in a statement. “People are starting to look outside of Napa for premium cabernet and the Ferrari-Carano estate mountain vineyards are well positioned to be part of that movement.”

Steve Kistler steps down from Kistler Vineyards

Steve Kistler has stepped down as CEO and director of winemaking of Kistler Vineyards after 39 years of managing the Sebastopol winery he founded in 1978.

Kistler intends to focus on his family’s Occidental brand by crafting site-specific pinot noir wines with his daughters. Winemaker Jason Kesner will take over from Kistler.

Kistler’s succession plan had started when local vintner Bill Price and other investors bought a majority stake in Kistler Vineyards in 2008.

“Steve and I planned out an orderly succession plan and brought in Jason Kesner nine years ago to begin an Old-World style apprenticeship at Steve’s side. Today’s announcement is the natural conclusion of this process,” Price said in a statement.

The winery produces chardonnay and pinot noir using old-world Burgundian techniques, selling mostly to its wine club members.

Rombauer Vineyards hires new marketing director

Rombauer Vineyards in St. Helena has appointed Heather Rehnberg as its new director of marketing for the family-owned winery.

Rehnberg has 10 years of wine industry experience, most recently as brand manager at Treasury Wine Estates in Napa, where she developed marketing programs for Beringer Vineyards’ luxury and commercial programs nationally and globally. She previously worked in brand marketing at Delicato Family Vineyards in Napa and has experience in wine production, direct-to-consumer sales and public relations.

“Heather comes to Rombauer with broad and meaningful experience in brand marketing and a deep understanding of the wine industry,” said Bob Knebel, the winery’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “Her strategic brand building skills and results-oriented approach will be integral to Rombauer Vineyards’ continued growth and success.”

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com.