Rebecca George, Winemaker & Owner

Photo by  Emma K. Morris

I grew up in eastern California’s Mojave Desert and spent much of my adolescence exploring petroglyph-lined canyons and trekking through wildflower-dense landscapes. Though there wasn’t an agricultural presence in the high desert, these adventures instilled in me a lifelong appreciation for both the outdoors and the biological sciences. My time in the Mojave helped shape who I am today and the things I enjoy most.

I attended UC Davis with the intention of following the Bio Science route, but an intro to winemaking course taken during my freshman year peaked my interest. I decided to explore that interest, and took a quarter off of university to get my hands dirty as a cellar intern, working harvest in Napa Valley. I loved everything about that first harvest experience - the frenetic pace, learning that I could operate large pieces of equipment, getting to know the smell of fermentation, and being part of a fun winemaking team - I was hooked! At that point, I decided to pursue a degree in Viticulture & Enology.

I spent a full year studying winemaking abroad at The University of Adelaide in Australia. I also travelled to France and had the opportunity to taste some amazing wines, including a barrel sampling at DRC with Aubert de Villaine (at the time, I wasn’t aware that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience). I felt drawn to return to Burgundy. I studied the French language and applied for a fellowship offered by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, and I won. Directly after graduation, I spent a harvest at Domaine Méo-Camuzet in Vosne-Romanée where I learned about the simplcity and beauty of traditional winemaking…and incredible, classically-trained Pinot Noir.

Once back home in California, I continued my winemaking education at highly-regarded properties including Marcassin Vineyard and Williams Selyem. I dabbled in the sparkling wine world, acting as assistant winemaker at Schramsberg for three years, prior to joining Kelly Fleming Winery in 2011. At the end of 2013, I became Kelly’s full-time winemaker. Though I have an immense love for working with Cabernet grapes, my deep-rooted adoration for the more feminine Pinot Noir spurred me to create my own project, Mojave Wines.

I’ve been working with grapes from the majestic Monument Tree Vineyard in Anderson Valley since 2015, but with the 2018 vintage I’ve begun sourcing fruit from the Santa Cruz Mountains and Sonoma Coast AVAs as well. I’m really intrigued by how Pinot Noir manifests itself differently based upon where it’s grown, and I’m excited to showcase these different sites next year!