Sally Johnson leaving Pride for Robert Mondavi

Just sent to the Pride Mountain mailing list…

"While it’s bittersweet news for all of us associated with Pride Mountain Vineyards, we’re very excited to announce that our winemaker of 15 years, Sally Johnson, has accepted the position of Director of Winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery. “Making the wines at Pride has been an incredible experience for me, and it certainly has not been easy to say goodbye. There are so many things that I’ll miss, from the amazing wines, beautiful estate, the camaraderie, and most of all, every single one of the people. With Steve’s ongoing improvements in the vineyard, a top-notch production team, and the fresh perspective that Pride’s next winemaker will bring, I know that the wines are only going to continue to get better and better.”

A new winemaker has not yet been identified but we are interviewing some amazing candidates and have a rock-solid production team with 75 years of winemaking experience at Pride Mountain Vineyards between them. From Steve Pride: “My collaboration with Sally these last 15 years has not only been fun and mutually supportive, it has resulted in nearly every aspect of our winemaking being overhauled. The freshness and nuance in the wines today are a result of 15 years of thought, experiment and hard work and I am grateful to have had such a dedicated winemaker as Sally, who was willing to undertake this transformation with me in such a detailed and successful way. Given the great place we are at today, I am thrilled to explore where the wines can be taken next as we look afresh at all parts of the winemaking through the new lens provided by my next winemaking collaborator."

Stay tuned!

The Pride Mountain Vineyards Family


That’s interesting news, thanks! I’m very curious to hear who the new winemaker will be.

Had the chance to meet her some years back while on a tour. She could not have been nicer to us.
Sad to see her leave, but sounds like a great opportunity.
There was concern when Bob Foley left, but they found a great winemaker. I am confident they will do the same again.
Sally seemed to dial down the oak treatment and the wines were better balanced. it will be interesting to see what the new winemaker does.

I have worked on selling barrels to Mondavi from 1980 until now. This is the first time somebody hasn’t been promoted from within, excepting Genevieve. Janssens, who came from Opus.

Been a buyer of Pride wine the last 10 or so years. We got to talk with Sally on several visits as well, she will be missed. Hope they can find someone to continue making great wines at Pride.

I’ve had to pleasure to meet Sally on a few occasions and she has always been a humble and gracious person. Romel Rivera is the assistant winemaker and has been forever, as long as he’s sticking around I have no doubt the quality is guaranteed to remain high. Talk about an amazing opportunity for the next winemaker.

Been pretty interesting under her tenure. If you drink some of the older Foley wines, you can track how they got bigger and bigger. The 2001 v. 2002 Cab reserve is telling. I was a bit concerned when she took over because some of her initial vintages were not very good. But I do think she got Pride back on track for reasonably sized and structured cabernet. And what a beautiful property. I wish her the best of luck.

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Very happy for Sally. She is such a humble and genuinely nice person. The best of luck to her at Mondavi!

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