Schramsberg Vineyards

California: Napa Valley, United States


  • Hugh Davies, Vintner

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    Hugh Davies was born in 1965, the year his parents, Jack and Jamie Davies, revived the historic Schramsberg Vineyards property in Napa Valley. Forty years later, Hugh was named president and CEO of the then 40-year-old sparkling wine house. Prior to 2005, he held the dual responsibilities of winemaker and general manager for the winery.

    At Schramsberg, Hugh has led the ongoing effort to fine-tune winemaking and grape-growing techniques, building upon the winery’s venerable track record of producing award-winning sparkling wines. He was also instrumental in replanting the winery’s historic hillside vineyards to Bordeaux varietals. The fruit grown in these Diamond Mountain District vineyards is used to produce J. Davies, which debuted with the 2001 vintage.

    Hugh serves on the board of directors for the Napa Valley Vintners (president, 2006) and with his family, chaired the 2004 Auction Napa Valley. Hugh also heads up the Jack L. Davies Fund, committed to carrying on efforts initiated by his late parents to preserve the Napa Valley for its highest uses: agriculture and wild lands.

    For prior hands-on experience in the wine industry before joining Schramsberg, Hugh worked with Möet et Chandon in Epernay; Petaluma Winery in South Australia, and Mumm in Napa Valley, among others. His political and public-service background includes work with the San Francisco Trust for Public Land and assisting California Congressman Tony Coelho in Washington, D.C.

    He holds a master’s degree in enology from the University of California, Davis, and has his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College in Maine.

    Hugh lives on the Schramsberg grounds with his wife, Monique, and their three sons, Emrys, Nelson and Hugh.

    Hugh Davies, Vintner
  • Sean Thompson, Director of Winemaking

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    Growing up in the diverse agricultural region of Sonoma County, Sean Thompson acquired a deep interest in the cultivation and preparation of the bounty that comes from the soil. This interest to live his life with a focus on agriculture led him to his first round at the University of California, Davis, earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry in 1992, with “minors” in tractor maintenance and bus/truck driving.

    Upon his completion of his degree, Sean began a career in winemaking, starting with Beringer Vineyards at the old Italian Swiss Colony in Asti, California. Sean would build a strong foundation for his future, by continuing his enological exploration with the fermentation of red wines, by moving to Napa for a position at Rutherford Hill Winery.

    Although rich in practical experience, Sean desired broadening his enology education through the educational system. He returned to the University of California, Davis in the fall of 2002, and soon earned his Masters of Science in Viticulture and Enology.

    Upon graduation, Sean continued his growth at Staglin Family Estate in Rutherford, CA, working directly with Luc Morlet on estate-driven Cabernet Sauvignons. Sean joined the Schramsberg winemaking team in the summer of 2006, as the Assistant Winemaker for the J. Davies Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon program.

    Sean was promoted to position of Head Winemaker of the still wine program in 2008, focusing on the production of the J. Davies Estate wines and the development of the broader Davies Vineyards brand. In addition to his duties as the red wine winemaker, he also had active participation in blending and dosage evaluation and complete oversight of bottling and disgorging or the sparkling wine program. In 2015, he was promoted to be the Senior Winemaker for both Davies and Schramsberg Vineyards brands, and in 2017 he was promoted to Director of Winemaking, overseeing the production and winemaking of all wines produced.

    Sean lives in Santa Rosa, with his wife, Megan, and his Dachshund-Boxer mix Buckminster Fuller. He enjoys spending time brewing beer, gardening, restoring automobiles and motorcycles, and working on his and other friend’s house projects.

    Sean Thompson, Director of Winemaking