40 Under 40: America's Tastemakers
Bibiana González Rave, 35
Winemaker, Rave Vines & Wines, Santa Rosa, CA
Originally from Colombia and trained in France, where she earned dual degrees in viticulture and enology, González Rave spent years doing two harvests a year, from South Africa to France and California, and was until recently the winemaker at Lynmar Estate, where she earned stupendous reviews for her silky Pinot Noirs and complex Chardonnays. Last year she decided to go out on her own, launching Rave Vines & Wines, where she is laser focused on one place only: Pahlmeyer’s Wayfarer Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. The first of her cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be from 2012. In addition to making a small amount of her own wines, she’s partnering with husband Jeff Pisoni on a Sauvignon Blanc brand.
Jesse Katz, 29
Winemaker, Lancaster Estate and Roth, Healdsburg, CA
The son of photographer Andy Katz who came to Lancaster from Napa cult brand Screaming Eagle, Jesse’s first vintage of 2010 Lancaster Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is just about to be released, hot on the heels of the two barrels of wedding cuvée he made for the nuptials of friends Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, a 2009 blend of Alexander Valley Cab, Zin and Petite Sirah. Katz is also supervising the development of Lancaster’s sister brand, the 50,000-case Roth, which will soon have its own separate winery and for which he will make six different wines.
Nicole Erny, 28
Master Cicerone, Oakland, CA
Starting out behind the taps at The Trappist in Oakland during college, Erny is the first woman, fourth person and youngest ever to earn the Master Cicerone title, recognition of her evolved knowledge of beer, brewing and food pairing. She consults on beer menus, hosts dinners and events, including blind tastings, and otherwise pied-pipers her way around the country putting together Homebrew Nerd-Out and other educational tasting courses for home brewers.