Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, David was the first member of his Italian-American family to attend college, enrolling at the University of California, Davis, where he earned degrees in Viticulture & Enology as well as Italian in 1998. He discovered winemaking after some persuasion by a fellow schoolmate to take an Introduction to Winemaking course and recalls the experience as being, “very difficult but also challenging and fascinating. It was truly the right place at the right time.” Prior to graduation, the Hayward native moved to Barbaresco, Italy to gain in-the-field cellar experience and fell in love with the old-world style of craftsmanship, before returning to the US to work as a protégé under respected winemaker Ray Einberger in Washington State.
Einberger, having trained at the storied Bordeaux houses of Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Clerc Milon, instilled in David a rigorous and detail-oriented approach to winemaking, leaving a long-term, profound impression on him. After several years, David accepted a position as Assistant Winemaker for Charles Krug Winery in Napa, where he worked with legendary consulting winemaker Denis Malbec, whose lessons from his time as Maître de Chai at Chateau Latour proved invaluable to David. In 2006, David went on to craft wines for Lewis Cellars followed by Landy Family, and in 2007 became the Winemaker at Paraduxx and Duckhorn. He returned to Charles Krug in 2008 as the Head Winemaker until 2011. Prior to joining Provenance Vineyards, David served as Winemaker at boutique winery Jada Vineyard in Paso Robles for six years, crafting wines that were recognized by Matt Kettman of Wine Enthusiast, as “bold yet refined” and “dense and seductive, yet still balanced and integrated.”
Now as Senior Winemaker and General Manager at Rutherford’s Provenance Vineyards, David returns to Napa Valley. He views his style as an urban, renegade approach, having the ability to see nuances in the cellar that others may not and looks forward to bringing this “no holds barred,” “wild west” energy instilled in him from roots in Hayward and experience in Paso Robles to his winemaking at Provenance. David credits much of his winemaking style to his breadth of experience traveling the world, having learned the ins and outs of the industry working for small family-owned wineries to larger more established producers.
He aims to combine his understanding of modern techniques with his appreciation for well-established procedures that stand the test of time and balancing those alongside his passion and gut instinct. Respect to the variety and honoring the terroir is his focus. Working with single vineyards (especially mountain fruit) in a state-of the art cellar that includes concrete tanks and La Garde fermenters, crafting wines with unique expression from where they are sourced is a dream for him.
Focusing on a “vineyard first” or “farming first” approach with impeccable attention to detail, David goes the extra mile to ensure the highest quality wines are produced. Going against the grain to make the wines at Provenance the best versions of themselves is imperative for him. When David isn’t spending his days working in the vineyards or the cellar, he resides in Healdsburg, California, with his wired-haired pointing Griffon named Crush, and enjoys outdoor activities, spending much of his leisure time fly-fishing and back packing in the Dinky Lakes wilderness. David is also continuing his education, currently as a Wine Business MBA student at Sonoma State University.