David Heitz — Winemaker

There is always that moment of truth for any second-generation winemaker. David Heitz mastered his moment at a very young age, and he has continued to create stunning wines for more than three decades.

In the summer of 1974, David had just arrived home with a degree in enology from Fresno State University when his legendary father Joe suffered a back injury. Drawing on his ample experience as an apprentice in the family winery, David did more than just step up to the plate. His first solo production sailed into the winemaking stratosphere, gifting collectors around the world with the 1974 Martha's Vineyard Cabernet. Father and son continued working their magic as a team until the mid-1990s when David officially assumed full responsibility for winemaking.

Although futuristic when it comes to farming methods and updating equipment, David says he does not feel the pressure to run after every trend in winemaking. He favors bold, yet precision-balanced wines that reflect a polished purity.

"To me, the real artistry in winemaking means being careful not to get in the way with overly aggressive manipulation. I take a purist's approach, allowing each of our wines to express the true character of the varietal and also to convey their unique geography within the Napa Valley." - David Heitz

Clearly, quality has been foremost in David's thinking for most of his life. The classic Heitz label that stands out in stores today is based on a crayon drawing that David made when he was 11 years old. It depicts a cellar man holding a glass of wine up to the light — undoubtedly a quality check in progress.

David and his wife Cheryl live in St. Helena. Their son Harrison joined the family business in 2012 after graduating from Western Washington University. Their daughter Rebecca is a graduate of the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Brittany Sherwood — Managing Winemaker

Growing up in Long Beach, Brittany had a keen interest in science which ultimately led to her enrollment in the pre-med program at UC Davis. To fulfill her requirements, she signed up for "Introduction To Winemaking".

"The combination of science and creativity in winemaking appealed to me right away," Brittany says. Shifting her major to Viticulture and Enology, Brittany took advantage of a work-study program in Europe to broaden her experience, spending time in the wine regions of France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. Upon returning, she interned in Oregon's Willamette Valley to learn about cold weather varieties.

Shortly after graduation, Brittany joined Heitz Wine Cellars to work the 2012 vintage, excited about the opportunity to focus on Cabernet Sauvignon at a classic winery in Napa Valley. Following the harvest, Brittany traveled to Australia's Barossa region to expand her knowledge of lab techniques. When she returned in June 2013, we were delighted to welcome her as an official member of the team. As our enologist, she works closely with the production team to ensure quality, and she has inspired a revitalization of our laboratory.

Brittany lives in Napa with her husband Tom. Their perfect day away from work involves hiking or any kind of outdoor activity, and they enjoy traveling the world together.

Brittany Sherwood