Dana Epperson Description
Nestled within the lush landscapes of Sonoma County, Dana Epperson gracefully orchestrates the symphony of flavors and aromas that define Decoy Wines. As a third-generation Sonoman and the distinguished winemaker at the helm of Decoy, Dana’s life is interwoven with the rich tapestry of winemaking tradition and innovation. Her profound connection to the land and her unwavering dedication to excellence shape every bottle that bears the Decoy label.
From her early years, Dana was surrounded by the picturesque vineyards that paint the Sonoma landscape, instilling in her a deep-rooted passion for the art of winemaking. It was this early immersion, coupled with the mentorship of family friend and esteemed winemaker Sarah Quider, that set Dana on her path. This formative influence inspired Dana to delve into the scientific and artistic realms of winemaking, leading her to pursue specialized studies in wine analysis and viticulture at Cal Poly.
The journey that followed was marked by pivotal experiences and growth. An internship at Ferrari-Carano during her academic years solidified her resolve to pursue a career in winemaking. This resolve turned into action as Dana joined Ferrari-Carano upon graduation, diving into the hands-on world of vineyard management and winemaking.
Dana’s career blossomed as she embraced roles of increasing responsibility and complexity. In 2007, she became an enologist at Edna Valley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo, a position that honed her technical expertise and deepened her understanding of winemaking nuances. Her journey then led her to Napa Valley’s prestigious Artesa Vineyards & Winery, where she served as enologist and grower relations specialist. It was here, under the mentorship of Mark Beringer, that Dana embraced the philosophy of “light touch” winemaking, focusing on crafting classic, balanced wines—a philosophy that would become a cornerstone of her approach at Decoy.
Dana’s tenure at Artesa was a prelude to her role at Napa Valley’s Jamieson Ranch Vineyard, where she oversaw a portfolio of esteemed brands. This experience further refined her winemaking vision and technique, setting the stage for her current role at Decoy.
At Decoy Wines , Dana’s winemaking artistry is a dance of precision and passion. She collaborates closely with vineyard and winemaking teams, ensuring that each wine distinctly embodies the Decoy signature style while adhering to the highest standards of quality. The winemaking process under her guidance is a meticulous endeavor, involving nearly 150 individual fermentations each vintage, characterized by practices like open-top punch downs and lees stirring.
Dana’s commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of her work, from the careful hand-sorting of grapes to the selection of fine coopers and the use of French oak. Leveraging the exceptional resources of The Duckhorn Portfolio, she ensures that Decoy’s wines are a testament to the convergence of remarkable viticultural talent and world-class cooperage.
With Dana Epperson at the winemaking helm, Decoy Wines continues to flourish, crafting wines that are not just beverages but expressions of a deep commitment to the land, the art of winemaking, and the legacy of excellence that defines the brand. Her journey from the vineyards of Sonoma to the distinguished position she holds today is a narrative of passion, dedication, and an unwavering pursuit of creating wines that resonate with the distinctive style and uncompromised quality of Decoy.
- Rated 3.78 out of 5(28 reviews)14.10% /Vintage: 2021
- WE 94
- JS 93
- WIL 91