Jessica Koga and Hugh Davies Description
Hugh Davies and Jessica Koga are prominent figures in the world of winemaking, especially noted for their contributions to Schramsberg Vineyards, a renowned American sparkling wine producer.
Hugh Davies, born in 1965, shares a deep and personal connection with Schramsberg Vineyards. His journey began in the same year his parents, Jack and Jamie Davies, acquired the then-dilapidated Schramsberg Estate. Raised amidst the vineyards and wine cellars, Hugh developed an intrinsic understanding and passion for winemaking. His academic pursuits took him to the University of California, Davis, where he earned a master’s degree in enology, complementing his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College. Hugh’s global winemaking experiences are extensive, including stints at Möet et Chandon in France, Petaluma Winery in Australia, and Mumm Napa Valley.
As President of Schramsberg Vineyards since 2005, Hugh Davies has significantly influenced the winery’s evolution. He has expanded the vineyard sources to over 115 sites, enhancing the diversity of flavor profiles for their sparkling wines. His initiatives in barrel fermentation and the small-lot base wine program have further elevated the quality and complexity of their wines. Under his guidance, the winery also ventured into producing still Pinot Noir wines and the J. Davies Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, which quickly gained acclaim.
Jessica Koga’s appointment as Winemaker at Schramsberg Vineyards marks a significant milestone in her career and the winery’s history. Her journey with the Davies family began in 2003 as a lab intern. Her diverse experiences include working at Cloudy Bay Vineyards in New Zealand, Bedell Cellars in New York, Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma, and Vineyard 29 in St. Helena. Her return to Davies Vineyards in 2015 as Associate Winemaker saw her manage red wine production and contribute significantly to the winery’s sparkling wines.
In her new role, Koga is responsible for overseeing the entire winemaking process of Schramsberg’s sparkling wines, from harvest to bottling. This includes managing over 350 base wines and ensuring quality through various stages, including fermentation and filtering. Her experience, skill, and deep understanding of winemaking principles are expected to continue the legacy of excellence at Schramsberg Vineyards.
Together, Hugh Davies and Jessica Koga represent a formidable team, blending tradition with innovation, and ensuring Schramsberg Vineyards remains at the forefront of American winemaking.