Sue grew up on a dairy farm in the Southwest of England, and first became fascinated by wines when spending time with an uncle who collected first- growth Claret. Her family has been farming the same land for more than 300 years, so she came of age with a deep-rooted understanding of the need for winemakers to preserve the land for generations to come. Sue believes wines should be balanced and approachable, and she prefers to intervene as little as possible, to allow the fruit to “speak” to its terroir and climatic influence. As her initial exposure to wine was entirely European, her path to winemaking is heavily influenced by an affinity with the elegance and restraint of old-world wines. This philosophy results in wines that work well with food and are also delicious enough to work without accompaniments.
Sue began her studies in wine by completing the Wine & Spirit Education Trust program, followed by the Wine Exchange Program at UC Davis. She began working at Mirassou in San Jose as part of her internship, where she was mentored by the great Tom Stutz who was the winemaker there at the time. She also continued to take extension classes and had to opportunity to work in all aspects of still and sparkling wine production (Cellar, Lab, Micro, Bottling, Compliance, Winemaking). Sue came to Clos du Bois in 1998, where her role quickly expanded into winemaking. Sue continues her education at UC Davis, and was selected to travel to Australia as a consulting winemaker for the 2016 and 2017 vintages, making both red and white wines for the domestic and export markets. She was promoted to Senior Winemaker in 2003.
In her spare time, Sue loves to cook—trying new recipes or recreating ones she’s had while dining out, as well as spending time with friends and family—and drinking good wine, of course.
Originally from southern California, Maureen first became interested in wine while she was visiting Alexander Valley over a summer break from her job teaching school in southern California. She obtianed a harvest position that year and fell in love with the lifestyle, food and culture of northern California. She resigned from her teaching position and immediately located to Sonoma County. She began her winemaking career at Chateau Souverain in Sonoma (part of the Beringer Group). She started in the lab and over the years worked her way up from Lab Manager to Senior Winemaker. Maureen feels the best wines are made in the vineyard and so a close collaboration with growers and viticultural teams is paramount. She thinks minimalism in the winery best describes her philosophy—the grapes and terroir should be expressed in the wines with little intervention.
Maureen has supplemented her primary degree with certificate courses UC Davis, Santa Rosa Junior College and a Level 3 Wine & Spirit Education Trust program certificate with Distinction. She also gained international experience with a harvest in New Zealand, as well as traveling to France and Italy and exploring various wine regions—learning flexibility and resilience along the way. Maureen gets daily inspiration from the team at Clos du Bois—and loves working together with them, sharing the goal of making wines that are such great examples of quality and consistency.
In her spare time, Maureen loves traveling, golfing and spending time with her husband and family, experiencing the different culinary opportunities so abundant in Sonoma County.