Michael joined Rombauer Vineyards in 2020 as Associate Winemaker and Site Manager at the winery’s Sierra Foothills facility. His wine background is diverse and includes international winemaking, wine research, operations, marketing and product development. Prior to Rombauer, Michael was New Product Development Manager at E&J Gallo in Modesto; before that he served as Production Operations Manager at Inglenook in Napa Valley. In addition to his global harvest experiences, Michael worked at the Australian Wine Research Institute as Winemaker and Operations Manager and the South Australian Wine Industry Association as a Wine Educator. One of his earliest jobs was selling wine in a bottle shop in Australia at the age of eighteen. He earned his Masters of Wine Business from the University of Adelaide.
As the manager of Rombauer’s Sierra Foothills facility Michael particularly likes working with the Zinfandel grape, which he calls “uniquely California.” “It’s like Syrah is to Australia; it’s an iconic varietal, particularly in this region of California.” A self-described do-it-yourselfer, Michael relocated to the hills of El Dorado County with his wife and adorable Labrador Retrievers Murphy and Oscar, where they live on a six-acre property at an elevation of 3600 feet