About Evan Schiff:
Evan Schiff was born in Northern California, yet raised in the Southern California community of Orange County by his wine-savvy parents who were members of several prestigious wine clubs. After overhearing his parents’ casual conversations about wine, he decided to make his own special bottle of juice at the ripe old age of 7 years old. With a plastic jug, a few grape juices, soda and strawberries, he managed to ferment his first medley. Much to his surprise the lid shot off the bottle and left a huge mess to clean up before his parents could notice. One could say this early determination was foreshadowing for his flourishing wine career.
Schiff’s fascination and determination to be part of the wine industry never faltered. As he puts it, “Winemaking has many facets: economics, history, science, engineering, personality, agriculture -- and it’s quite astounding.” With that philosophy in mind, he moved back to Northern California in 1997 to attend the University of California, Davis, known as having one of the best winemaking and viticulture programs in the nation.
In 2005, Schiff started his winemaking career in Napa Valley with the Coppola family. He started as a laboratory technician at what was then called Niebaum-Coppola Winery (what would become known in later years as Rubicon Estate, followed by the current name Inglenook). Just a few months into his role, he was presented with the opportunity to visit the Argentine winemaking province of Mendoza to participate in the harvest season at the reputable and award-winning Dominio del Plata Winery.
Working alongside renowned winemaker Susana Balbo on her signature wines as well as the winery’s popular Crios brand, Schiff gained valuable insight into the inner workings and craftsmanship of fine wines. It was there that he met and fell in love with Argentine local Virginia, who would eventually become his wife after a three-year, long-distance relationship. Upon returning to the Coppola family’s winemaking business, he was promoted to enologist of Rubicon Estate where he spearheaded winemaking efforts for some of the company’s sizable brands.
In 2006, during Schiff’s time as enologist, winery owner Francis Ford Coppola started his eponymous Sonoma County winery in Geyserville, providing a distinct home for some of the popular, flourishing brands, such as Diamond Collection and Rosso & Bianco. As Francis Ford Coppola Winery continued to evolve and expand efforts in Sonoma County, Schiff was promoted and relocated to Geyserville to become associate winemaker, where he continues to oversee daily winemaking, crush facilities and wine business operations, focusing primarily on the winery’s red wines of the Diamond Collection. His expertise working with more than 200 grape growers in eight counties throughout California provides him with a well-rounded perspective for creating distinct wines showcasing a variety of diverse appellations. When asked about his proudest accomplishment, he says, “The team’s success story of the Diamond Collection Claret. There’s so much that goes into it. Everyone has a role and everyone is invested at every level. That blend is the flagship and it’s a model of the classic Coppola story.”
Schiff lives in Sonoma County with his wife Virginia and their son. When he’s not busy on the crushpad, he spends his free time enjoying hobbies such as building wood ships, hiking and camping.
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