Luis Contreras, who has worked for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars for 21 years, was named Assistant Winemaker in June 2017. He began his career as a temporary bottling worker in 1996 and worked his way up the ranks by spending two years in bottling, eight years as a cellar worker and was promoted to Cellar Master in 2006.
As Assistant Winemaker, Luis works closely with Winemaker Marcus Notaro and Vineyard Director Kirk Grace on crafting the highest quality wines possible. Luis visits the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars vineyards during different growing stages to evaluate performance and he participates in wine tastings with Winemaker Marcus Notaro to see the progress of every lot during the aging process. In addition, Luis continues to oversee all cellar and bottling operations as he has for more than a decade in his role as Cellar Master.
When asked what he likes most about his job he says with a smile, “Being part of something that changes people’s lives. Wine is a living thing, it expresses the varietal characteristic, the growing region and winemaking techniques that are used. It involves many people working together towards one goal. Wine has the potential to create unforgettable memories and being part of that is priceless.”
Luis grew up in Colima, Mexico. His father came to work in the Napa Valley in 1985 as a vineyard worker. Six years later, he brought his wife, Luis and his two brothers here to live.