Producing World Class Wines
Lead by fourth-generation winemaker, Ted Seghesio, our winemaking team follows the path forged by founder Edoardo. Dedicated to crafting Sonoma County wines by hand, Ted captures the essence of each variety and vineyard.
Ted Seghesio – Fourth Generation Winemaker
Growing up next door to Seghesio’s Healdsburg winery did not immediately inspire Ted Seghesio to be a winemaker. “I didn’t have a strong impression of winemaking because, in the bulk business, we shipped out all the young wine each December,” he recalls. Instead, Ted developed a fascination for trains, watching tank cars side up to the winery, then depart full of wine. And like many young athletes, he dreamed of becoming a baseball player. Ted attended University of the Pacific and played baseball while earning a bachelor’s in business. Returning home in 1976, he went to work in the family vineyards, expanding his knowledge of viticulture and, particularly, the Seghesio vines. In 1977, at the prompting of his mother, Fay, Ted headed to the University of California at Davis and enrolled in enology and chemistry courses. Returning to Healdsburg in 1979, Ted started converting the Healdsburg bulk winery to premium varietal production, purchasing oak barrels and stainless steel fermentors. “Mom had urged the family to produce wine under the Seghesio brand for years,” Ted says. “She passed away while I was in school, but she knew her dream would be fulfilled. I think she would be proud today.”
The first Seghesio wines were introduced in 1983. As a new label with a long tradition, Ted believes Seghesio benefits from the family heritage, tempered with youth and innovation. “I think the fact that we were not selling 14 different wines under our brand in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s is a definite advantage, because we are not locked into a past era,” he says. “We are not old-fashioned. Our third, fourth and now fifth-generation family members are dynamic, flexible and adapt well to the changing marketplace.”
Ted believes winemaking truly begins in the vineyard: “You must do all you can to produce good grapes, then guide them into wine,” he explains. “My goal is to make the best wine we can, a wine that is accessible when young, yet balanced to age.”
Again, Ted views Seghesio’s long history as a benefit in terms of wine quality: “We have grown and harvested fruit from our vineyards for many, many years. We know what they are capable of producing and we’re always striving to increase fruit quality through knowledge and innovation. Our intent is to create wines that embody Sonoma’s regional distinctiveness.” Ted will tell you his goal as a winemaker is to make wines that people seek out. And he has succeeded: his wines have been named to the Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 List eight times. Ted has been honored with Decanter’s Best American Red Trophy in 2007, by Food & Wine’s American Wine Awards and by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Competition as Winemaker of the Year. Ted lives in Healdsburg with his wife, Dana, and enjoys bicycling and the company of his two adult daughters.