After years of making our wines at custom crush facilities, we know how challenging it is to rely on someone to care for your wines when you can’t be at the winery. That’s why we invest in hiring, training and retaining a highly skilled team of cellar workers to support our winemakers.
These biographies tell you more about Sugarloaf’s management, but this type of community custom crush studio would not be possible without our talented cellar crew. Sugarloaf attracts top wine production staff with good pay, benefits, a fun culture, a safe work environment, and the opportunity to vinify around 30 grape varieties from 40 different appellations. Interns and assistants come and go, but one thing that never changes is the Sugarloaf team’s commitment to providing the high level of service expected by California’s elite boutique winemakers.
The mind with the vision, Joe Reynoso is the owner of Reynoso Family Vineyards and the founder of Sugarloaf Wine Co. Joe has grown grapes in Sonoma County since 1994 and started making wines for his Reynoso Family Vineyards label at custom crush facilities beginning in 2004.
The oldest of 15 children, Joe grew up in California, surrounded by agriculture. His father was a migrant worker who harvested crops in the Central Valley. Joe developed an interest in wine in the 1980s, while studying for his bachelor’s in business administration at San Francisco State University. His proximity to Sonoma and Napa wine country allowed him to further develop his knowledge and passion for fine wines. After graduation, Joe moved to Chicago and earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business before working as a trader on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Throughout his business career, his love for wine grew into the dream of getting into the wine business.
In the mid-1990s, Joe purchased his first piece of land–550 acres in northern Sonoma’s Alexander Valley About 150 acres of his property are planted to grapes, most of which have been sold to top winemakers for many years. Joe and his wife, Elena, a gifted wine salesperson he met in Chicago, became self-taught grape growers and winemakers. They began tinkering with small garagiste lots starting in 2004.
in 2015, Joe and his colleague Ronald Du Preez hatched the idea to build Sugarloaf Wine Co. After finding the perfect piece of land in Sonoma Valley, Joe tapped his investment banking relationships to help make the dream a reality.
Joe’s wines are featured in the Wine Lounge at Sugarloaf, and guests often find him playing bocce ball with his grandsons by Sugarloaf’s estate vineyard.
GM, Partner & Winemaker
Ronald Du Preez–our resident maestro, quarterback and firefighter–runs the show at Sugarloaf with the same speed and agility as the Springboks in his native South Africa. He’s been making wine in Sonoma County since 2000.
As general manager, Ronald works closely with new and existing member wineries on their major milestones for each vintage, whether it be crush, elevage or bottling. He works with winemakers on strategic and logistical plans for their wines, and serves as the head winemaker for Sugarloaf. A lover of tech and crunching numbers, Ronald manages all of the finances and equipment investments. You’ll even find him busing tables in the tasting room. His dedication to the business is boundless.
A graduate of Stellenbosch University with a dual degree in viticulture and enology, Ronald cut his teeth on both varietal diversity and oversight of many wines at once, all while managing clonal research at the school’s experimental farm, where he was responsible for crafting more than 100 wines.
Ronald crossed the ocean to join Jordan Vineyard & Winery as a harvest intern in 2000. Over 12 years, Ronald held positions of increasing responsibility at Jordan, ultimately becoming associate winemaker under founding winemaker Rob Davis. Ronald traveled extensively as national spokesperson for the luxury brand while simultaneously managing vineyard operations for the 1,200-acre estate.
In 2012, Ronald joined M. Draxton Inc. in Healdsburg, a négociant-style business producing wines for several different clients across five different facilities in the North Coast. While managing production of more than 250,000 cases each year across nine different varietals, Ronald achieved 90+ point scores in multiple vintages.
Ronald and friend Joe Reynoso began plotting their grand plan for a dream crush studio in 2015. After two years of juggling the logistics of land acquisition and pre-construction preparations, Ronald officially joined Sugarloaf full-time in March 2016 to gear up for the inaugural vintage. Over the years, he’s expanded his responsibilities beyond winemaking and operations to include hospitality management and finance. Once a volunteer firefighter, Ronald now has his hands full between work and home life with his wife and young daughter.
Hospitality Business Manager
Born and raised in Louisville, Mississippi, Jordan Fleming grew up around southern hospitality. After a college football career, Jordan had the opportunity to jump head first into sales and client services, where he became one of the youngest appointed sales and training managers for a furniture brand.
After taking a quick vacation from the hustle and bustle of Memphis to visit Napa Valley in 2017, it became clear that his passion was in wine, hospitality and the history behind it all. He quickly made the move to Napa Valley in 2018, where he had the privilege to work with a wide range of wine businesses from mid-tier to luxury. He has represented wine projects created by the likes of Heidi Barrett, Philippe Melka, Celia Welch, Julian Fayard, Robert Foley and numerous other distinguished winemakers.
Jordan has always had a special place in his heart for Sonoma County, which brought him to Sugarloaf Wine Co. in 2023. He oversees all of the hospitality operations and utilize his sales and hospitality background to build new experiences, create new events and focus on marketing the brand. His vision for Sugarloaf, like ours, is to be the community center for wine and events in Sonoma County.
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