Lead Winemaker, Crossroads
A native Californian, growing up in St. Helena, Natalie came back to the Napa Valley after graduating college and fell back in love with the beauty of the Napa Valley. Growing up with a Master Sommelier father, she knew if she wanted to change career paths to the wine industry she would need to do something different.
Natalie did a harvest at Etude in 2010, embracing the long hours, manual labor, and comradery that comes with cleaning. She was hooked! Natalie spent the first part of the 2011 vintage in the Southern Hemisphere at Villa Maria in New Zealand and the second part of 2011 at Littorai in Sebastopol, getting her first experience with biodynamics working under Ted Lemon. Not knowing where to go next, a conversation with her longtime friend, Samantha Rudd, turned into an opportunity to work harvest at Rudd Oakville Estate in 2012.
“It was like finally coming home”, Natalie says. “I grew up playing in the vineyards and running around the property as a kid. Something just felt right.” When harvest finished, Natalie began hosting guests who were visiting the Estate, hoping to continue working at Rudd in any area she could. In 2014, Natalie joined the Winemaking team fulltime as a cellar hand and became the oenologist in 2016. An opportunity of a lifetime presented itself, allowing Natalie to travel overseas to work harvest at Château Pétrus in 2016. Coming back from her travels refreshed and rejuvenated, Natalie became the Assistant Winemaker in 2017 at Rudd Estate, and the following year the lead Winemaker for Crossroads.