Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association
Photo: Rocco Ceselin

Master Blending Team

Michael Baldacci, SLDWA Director

Baldacci Family Vineyards

As Owner and Winemaker at Baldacci Family Vineyards, second-generation vintner Michael continues the family legacy of crafting premium, single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wines. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, Michael has worked in diverse roles at the winery, from sales to operations. His knowledge of the business and his passion for constant innovation and improvement, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, have made Baldacci Family Vineyards a rising star in the Napa Valley. Michael holds a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University and studied viticulture and enology at U.C. Davis and Napa Valley College.

Travis Bullard

Cliff Lede Vineyards

While attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Travis was introduced to the world of enology and was immediately hooked. In 2007, he took an internship at Korbel as a lab assistant, igniting his passion for both the science and art of winemaking. The following year, he earned his Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Business with a focus in wine and viticulture. Travis continued to expand his experience with positions at Sonoma-Cutrer working with high-end Pinot Noirs and at Summerwood in Paso Robles working with Rhône varieties under noted winemaker Jeff Cohn. In 2010, Travis moved to the Napa Valley where he accepted an internship at Cliff Lede Vineyards. From first taste, he fell in love with their portfolio of wines. By 2012, he was promoted to enologist, and by 2013, assistant winemaker — the same vintage that Cliff Lede Vineyards received their first 100-point score. Travis became winemaker in 2021, working alongside director of winemaking, Christopher Tynan. Travis continues to enjoy the constant pursuit for quality that comes from creating compelling Stags Leap Cabernet.

Ludovic Dervin

Stags' Leap Winery

From a young age, Ludovic Dervin was drawn to the people, culture, and art of winemaking. A native of the Champagne region of France, Ludo grew up playing hide-and-seek and foraging for wild mushrooms among some of the most esteemed vineyards in the world. At first, his curious, scientific mind led him to pursue studies in microbiology, but eventually he found his way back to his roots and pivoted to his true calling, enology. He earned his viticulture and winemaking degree at the University in Reims and is today the General Manager and Senior Winemaker for Stags' Leap Winery. Ludovic's winemaking philosophy is informed by the sum of his varied experiences: he makes wine the way he learned in France, to showcase the fruit and not the winemaker's hand, but he applies a technical understanding of each and every step of the process

Elizabeth Vianna

Chimney Rock Winery

Elizabeth attributes her career in winemaking to a glass of 1985 Sociando Mallet, which she enjoyed at a pre-auction tasting at Christie’s in New York. A biology major at Vassar College, Elizabeth was originally on the pre-medical school track. She fell in love with wine while working as a clinical toxicologist at New York Hospital - Weill Cornell Medical Center. Her strong science background and sudden infatuation with wine propelled her to apply to the U.C. Davis, and its renowned winemaking program instead of medical school. Elizabeth first came to Chimney Rock as a harvest intern in 1999, while completing her Master’s in Enology at Davis. Upon graduation, she first became an Enologist and later an Assistant Winemaker at Napa Wine Company, where she worked directly with many of the region’s top winemakers including Heidi Barrett, Erin Green, Pam Starr and Celia Welch. Elizabeth was named Assistant Winemaker at Chimney Rock in January 2002 and advanced to the position of Winemaker in 2005. She was promoted to General Manager of Chimney Rock Winery in 2011 while continuing in her role as Head Winemaker. She has also served as President of the Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association.

Josh Widaman, SLDWA President

Pine Ridge Vineyards

Joshua David Mendoza Widaman puts his 25 years of experience to work as Pine Ridge’s Estate Winemaker, making wines from properties in the Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford and Carneros. After beginning his career at Stags’ Leap Winery, he followed his palate to stints at Chimney Rock Winery, Pahlmeyer and Lewis Cellars. Improving upon his Viticulture and Enology degree from U.C. Davis, in 2019 he received his MBA from Sonoma State University to better support a well-rounded understanding of the wine business. In addition, his time spent in Chile, the Douro, Burgundy, Greece and Germany have broadened his winemaking perspective and aesthetic.