“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then being in the vineyards is worth a million. Walking the rows, smelling the air, feeling the warmth of the sun, seeing the contours of the vineyard, all help you envision the glass of wine which can be brought forth by the land and the diligent efforts of your team.”
From the steep slopes of the Rheingau and Nahe valleys, to the alpine foothills of the Alto Adige and across Napa Valley, Alison Rodriguez honed her wine making skills in diverse growing regions around the world.
At Silverado Vineyards, Rodriguez oversees all winemaking activities for the luxury winery and its four estate vineyards in Napa Valley’s top AVAs including the Silverado Vineyard in Stags Leap District, Mt. George Vineyard in Coombsville, Miller Ranch Vineyard in Yountville and Borreo Ranch in Napa. Rodriguez is proud to carry on the legacy of the Disney-Miller Family as only the third winemaker in Silverado’s history. Silverado Vineyards became part of the Foley Family Wines portfolio in July 2022.
A native of Baton Rouge, LA, Rodriguez remembers wine always being part of her family table (even if the bottle was labeled “Hearty Burgundy”) which inspired her passion. After graduating from Duke University with a degree in International Relations, she began her career path with an entry-level job in wine sales. After five exciting years in global wine sales and marketing in San Francisco, Portland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Rodriguez decided to follow her childhood dream of working in the natural sciences. She worked her way through Germany’s premier winemaking and viticulture school, the Fachhochschule Geisenheim, with winery and vineyard internships including winter pruning in the snow, and working as a Sommelier at the Hotel Krone in Assmannshausen.
After roles in the cellars and sustainable/organic vineyards of Quivira Vineyards (Sonoma), Schlossgut Diel (Nahe), Weingut Graf von Kanitz (Rheingau), Manincor (Alto Adige), and a practical thesis at Schloss Johannisberg (Rheingau), Rodriguez decided to put down roots in Northern California. She started in Sonoma County as harvest enologist at Gallo Sonoma in Healdsburg, followed by a position as enologist at Acacia Vineyards in Carneros. Rodriguez then joined Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga as associate winemaker working alongside consultant Paul Hobbs, moving on to Beringer Napa Valley to work on single vineyard and reserve tier Cabernet Sauvignon with Laurie Hook and Mark Beringer. Before joining Silverado Vineyards, she spent six vintages as winemaker at The Hess Collection, perfecting her skills in almost 900 acres of estate Napa vineyards with winemaker Dave Guffy and consultant Celia Welch.