Riddler's hands in action
Riddler's hands in action

Sean Thompson

Vice President of Winemaking, Schramsberg Vineyards and Davies Vineyards

Growing up in the diverse agricultural region of Sonoma County, Sean Thompson acquired a deep interest in the cultivation and preparation of the bounty that comes from the soil. This interest to live his life with a focus on agriculture led him to his first round at the University of California, Davis, earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry in 1992, with “minors” in tractor maintenance and bus/truck driving.

Upon his completion of his degree, Sean began a career in winemaking, starting with Beringer Vineyards at the old Italian Swiss Colony in Asti, California. Sean would build a strong foundation for his future, by continuing his enological exploration with the fermentation of red wines, by moving to Napa for a position at Rutherford Hill Winery.

Although rich in practical experience, Sean desired broadening his enology education through the educational system. He returned to the University of California, Davis in the fall of 2002, and soon earned his Masters of Science in Viticulture and Enology.

Upon graduation, Sean continued his growth at Staglin Family Estate in Rutherford, CA, working directly with Luc Morlet on estate-driven Cabernet Sauvignons. Sean joined the Schramsberg winemaking team in the summer of 2006, as the Assistant Winemaker for the J. Davies Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon program.

Sean was promoted to position of Head Winemaker of the still wine program in 2008, focusing on the production of the J. Davies Estate wines and the development of the broader Davies Vineyards brand. In addition to his duties as the red wine winemaker, he also had active participation in blending and dosage evaluation and complete oversight of bottling and disgorging or the sparkling wine program. In 2015, he was again promoted, this time to the position of Senior Winemaker for both Davies and Schramsberg Vineyards brands. In 2017, he was promoted to Director of Winemaking, and in 2024 to Vice President, where he oversees the production and winemaking of all Schramsberg and Davies Vineyards wines.

Sean lives in Santa Rosa with his wife, Megan, and his Dachshund-Boxer mix, Buckminster Fuller. He enjoys spending time brewing beer, gardening, restoring automobiles and motorcycles, and working on his and other friends’ house projects.