Can "Rockstar" Winemakers Be Stretched Too Thin?

I just got my club shipment from Justin Vineyards and was going through their nice little book that comes along. I noticed that Philippe Melka is consulting for their high end Isosceles Reserve. At what point do these guys get overworked via tasting and travel?

Rolland is everywhere, Erickson is all over CA and Chris Ringland jumps hemispheres all the time.

Absolutely. I think we have seen it happen a few times.

Will, who do you mean? The globetrotters or the guys in Cali.

I don’t think Rolland is a winemaker – he is a consultant in the truest sense. He drops in, tastes the wines/barrels/samples/whatever and recommends what he thinks it ‘needs’. I think he has helped a number of wineries in Napa with quality/consistency.

I was referring to individual winemakers in the Valley. In my experience, if you are going to ramp up your projects, you’d better have a helluva team surrounding you. (Asst winemakers are the ones making the wine in most cases)

This is a good question with no certain answer. If the winemaker coordinates his clients winemaking in one or two facilities, this makes it much easier. Also, if the vineyards are very far apart, the driving time can make it more difficult. Finally, the consultants often have one or more assistant winemakers whose views they trust, and they scurry around getting the data or grape samples, bring them to the winemaker, who can then make the big decisions. I hear that Melka has a whole crew of assistants.