Vineyard Manager, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Healdsburg, CA
Bringing fresh perspective to a historic site
A former 4-H kid, Royal oversees 575 acres, of which about 250 are planted to prime Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel grapes at the iconic Monte Rosso Vineyard. She studied crops and horticulture science at Cal State Chico and then worked as an intern at Gallo, where she was promoted to vineyard manager in 2015. Home to some of the oldest-producing grapevines in California, Monte Rosso has an almost mythical reputation among winemakers who love its brilliant acidity and distinct notes of spice. Royal patrols it all with her black Labrador, Violet Mae, and is an active advocate for improving involvement and advancement of Black people in agriculture and winemaking.