Welcome Our New Vineyard Manager, Domenick Bianco

While the trope “great wines start in the vineyard” holds true, it follows that someone must be great in the vineyard to make great wines. For the past few years, our vines have thrived largely thanks to a strong, ongoing relationship with Michael Wolf Vineyard Services. In 2022, Michael sold his business to his successor, the established viticulturist Domenick Bianco. Domenick shares Michael’s meticulous nature, practical experience in the field, and respect for the land, making him a natural fit for Seven Apart. Without further ado, allow us to introduce Domenick, who now takes the helm on our ongoing journey to greatness.

From Law Books to Vine Rows

Describing himself as an “authentic, driven, and humble” individual, Domenick is a Californian native, born in the Central Valley and later moving to Napa. Unlike many in the viticulture world, his path to the vineyard wasn’t paved with textbooks. Though he initially pursued a degree in history at UC Davis with an eye on law school, a fortuitous late-semester class in viticulture and enology sparked a passion that would redefine his career. Graduating in 2008, Domenick opted for the rows of vines over files of legal books. But perhaps this shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise for Domenick, as one might say farming flows in his blood.

“I’ve been around vines as far back as I can remember. My great-grandfather founded a table grape company in the Central Valley, which my grandfather eventually took over. So, thanks to this family legacy, my father introduced me to vineyards at a young age. I hold many fond memories of accompanying my dad to work and traveling to various vineyards.”

His true passion was ignited during his first internship at Etude Winery, just after graduating. “The work immediately made sense to me,” Domenick explains. “I loved the physical side of it, mixed with the attention to detail and focus.”

This initial foray was followed by another internship with a Napa vineyard manager, solidifying his desire to pursue a career in viticulture. “I’ve never looked back,” he shares. “I so value the connection viticulture offers – to the land, the seasons, and to people.”

A Budding Businessman 

Domenick spent his formative years working for a Napa vineyard manager. This experience proved to be a springboard. About six years into his career, the esteemed Kathryn Hall Winery sought his skills to enhance their estate vineyards and grower program. This role proved pivotal, granting him invaluable exposure to a vast swathe of California’s viticultural landscape. “The role at Kathryn Hall introduced me to almost all of the growing regions in California and into Oregon,” he explains. Domenick’s purview encompassed vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, Anderson Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez, and the Santa Lucia Highlands.

After several enriching years at Kathryn Hall, the storied Joseph Phelps Vineyards offered Domenick the opportunity to oversee their Napa and Sonoma estates. This prestigious role further solidified his reputation within the industry.

Then, two years ago, Domenick took a bold step as a budding businessman, acquiring the vineyard management company he previously worked for alongside Michael Wolf. Under Domenick’s leadership, the company remains true to its founding roots: small, family-owned, with a mindful focus on the welfare of its employees. This philosophy of care and attention to detail is what drew Seven Apart to entrust our vineyards into Domenick’s more than capable hands.

A Collaborative Effort 

Domenick finds kindred spirits in Seven Apart’s winemaker Morgan Maureze and Managing Partner Yannick Girardo, both individuals he now works closely with, united in their passion for exceptional wines and the Seven Apart vision.

“I was drawn to working with Seven Apart as I appreciate the philosophy and approach to winemaking. The team is committed to quality, and they prioritize the things that matter,” he shares. Picking up the torch from Michael Wolf, Domenick brings a thoughtful and balanced approach to vineyard management. “I don’t want to be too heavy-handed but to be thoughtful and precise in each activity,” Domenick explains. His ultimate goal is to support Morgan in crafting the finest wines, while nurturing the environment and valuing the vineyard team’s efforts.

The Perfect Fit

While meticulous in his approach, that doesn’t mean Domenick misses the bigger picture. He loves those “little moments” that showcase Napa’s beauty, like a sunrise over the Vaca Range or vineyards bursting into bloom. This love for nature goes beyond work too. Domenick’s an avid runner and cyclist, always happy to be outside. He even gets his wife and two young children in on the action, exploring the Napa Valley scenery together.

Domenick’s journey through his career speaks volumes about his dedication. He’s built strong relationships throughout Napa Valley and credits his success to hard work, strong values, and now the chance to lead a well-respected vineyard management company. This focus on quality and respect for the land makes him the perfect fit to carry on Seven Apart’s legacy of exceptional winemaking. Welcome to the team, Domenick!