Meet the Staff
The Peterson staff consists of:
Fred Peterson – Winegrower/Owner
In 1987, when I started Peterson Winery, I didn’t dream I’d have contact with so many people. Part of what I enjoy about being in the wine industry is meeting new people and making friends all over the world. Having worked a harvest in New Zealand and one in Australia, I feel like I am part of the international wine community, not just the California wine industry.
Telling someone what I used to do always makes me wonder where the time has gone. My career in the wine industry began during the 1970s. Please don’t start calculating my age. I am fortunate to have been both a vineyard manager and a winemaker for other wineries before starting my own winery. Those two roles combined give me a solid and comprehensive background of creating distinctive, world-class wine.
My goal for Peterson Winery and myself is a simple one – to craft better and better wines each year. I think that each year the experience of the preceding vintages gives us more confidence, and more insight. I am pleased with the wines we are producing, but I know that as vines mature and our knowledge continues to grow, we can produce better and better wines every year.
When I’m not working, my wife Kathleen Stewart, who owns the Downtown Bakery in Healdsburg, and I enjoy our children, tackling Kathleen’s major gardening projects and traveling. Our travels frequently include visits to our wine distributors throughout the country, and pouring wines at tastings or attending winemaker dinners. I am also a volunteer for the Geyserville Fire Department.
Jamie Peterson – Winemaker
It’s not by coincidence that I’m the winemaker at Peterson Winery. I’ve been helping my father at the winery since I was 12, back to the days of labeling each bottle by hand (watch out for those mid-1990’s crooked labels…). I literally grew up in the vineyards and cellar. I worked two harvests here at the winery, in 2000 and 2001, and the 2001 harvests Down Under in Australia at Lowe Family Winery, and then in New Zealand, at Ngatarawa Winery. With this solid base of experience, much to my excitement I was given the opportunity of taking over winemaking duties at Peterson Winery in June 2002, and I’ve been loving it ever since.
Overseeing the quality of the wine from when the grapes come in all the way through to the bottle is my main responsibility and priority. Since it’s a pretty small staff here, this keeps me pretty busy, but when I’m not checking up on barrels or wrestling with the bottling equipment, you can often find me at one the numerous tasting events we attend, whether it is for charity or for the love of wine.
My winemaking philosophy follows that of my father- great wine is about place, (and time/vintage), and not about how much the winemaker can change a wine to suit a certain style. I continue a low tech/high touch approach here, with the only major changes from the methods of my father being sanitation practices (use of steam cleaning for water conservation, etc.) and an adoption of a “gravity-flow” handling of the fruit.
In my free time, I’ve started a Peterson Winery softball team with my friends in Healdsburg. I also enjoy cooking, foraging for local culinary mushrooms, working in my garden, reading, and am a Giants baseball fan.
Jan Gironimi – Office Manager
I joined Peterson Winery in 1997 as the office manager. Besides making sure the proverbial paperwork gets done on time, I help out with pouring wine for visitors.
Before joining Peterson, I worked for a much larger winery. I much prefer life at a small winery. It is more personal, and we all work together as a team. We know what is going on in all aspects of the business and can answer questions and keep the place running smoothly, even when one of us is away from the office.
When I’m not at work, you might find me visiting my numerous and widely scattered family and friends, or engaging in one of my favorite pastimes — reading.
Danny, Erika & Kim. Our tasting room team
Now you have “virtually” met the Peterson Winery staff. Next time you’re going to be in the Healdsburg area, give us a call. We’d like to meet you and have you try some of our wines.