Rick Bonitati joined the Sequoia Grove team in early 2018 and recently became President. With over 30 years of experience in the fine wine business, Rick’s passion for premium Napa Valley wines is a perfect addition to the Sequoia Grove Winery team. After graduating from University of Miami in FL with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Merchandising, Rick’s dream of a journey to Napa Valley became a reality in the summer of 1984. After experiencing a week in Napa Valley, he fell in love with the region, the wines and the people.
Fast forward three decades, Rick is an accomplished leader who quickly moved up the ranks in sales and later in winery operations and management. Having involvement in winemaking, viticulture, marketing and sales over the years provides a vast array of experiences which Rick can call upon while guiding towards the future. He believes it is imperative to “work hard and have fun doing it.” Rick’s passion for precision grape growing and crafting wines of exceptional quality is perfectly aligned with the driving force behind Sequoia Grove’s dedication to excellence.
Molly Hill oversees all winemaking and production operations for Sequoia Grove, as well as helping with grower relations and recommendations in the vineyards. Her goal every step of the way is top-quality winemaking and grape growing. For Molly, balance is of utmost importance in making a great wine. “Balance to me means nothing stands out—not alcohol, not tannin, not acid, nor fruit nor barrel.”Although Molly joined Sequoia Grove at the young age of 24, she came with experience from quite a few wineries, large and small. During her studies in the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology program, Molly learned the ropes at Beringer Wine Estates and later making Pinot Noir at Domaine Carneros. Upon graduation, she sharpened her skills and winemaking intuition first at Sea Smoke Cellars and then at Viña Isidro in Chile. She joined Sequoia Grove in 2003 as Assistant Winemaker and was promoted to Winemaker in 2008. Each vintage since has seen more critical acclaim, and Hill is quick to credit the success to the dedication of her team.
Jake Terrell took over Sequoia Grove’s vineyard management in 2016. Jake is also Director of Vineyards for sister winery, St Francis, farming over 400 acres in Sonoma County. If you ask Jake what he enjoys most about his position, he’ll tell you it’s our commitment to sustainable practices. Jake manages the farming of our 70 acres of Napa Green Certified Estate Vineyards, overseeing all aspects of vineyard life required to maintain healthy vines and ensure the highest quality fruit.
Jake’s philosophy on managing vineyards is two-part. He farms the vineyards with an eye towards winemaking, so quality is key to everything he does. “I have the same goals as the winemakers,” Jake says. “We’re all working together to make the best wines that reflect unique, diverse terroir all while taking care of our employees and the environment.” Secondly, do the right things at the right times. “If canopy management is timed correctly the vines cooperate perfectly.”