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Heart and Soul in a Bottle

Cultivating a Dream Career with Nicole Hitchcock

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J Vineyards is a traditional-method sparkling producer, meaning they incorporate many old-world techniques and traditions into their winemaking. Operating six vineyards along the Russian River and Sonoma Coast, they produce many top-quality wines from different varietals and have offerings across a wide range of price-points. We caught up with their award-winning head winemaker Nicole Hitchcock to talk wine, food, and being a woman in a male-dominated business.

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Nicole Hitchcock

Head Winemaker at J Vineyards & Winery

Born and raised in Carmel, California, Nicole Hitchcock found her passion for wine while working in restaurants alongside renowned sommeliers. She earned her degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis and an MBA from the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. Today she oversees all aspects of winemaking at J Vineyards & Winery as the head winemaker, crafting world-class sparkling and varietal wines. In 2022, she received the Winemaker of the Year Wine Star Award from Wine Enthusiast.


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