THE PEOPLE OF FRANCISCAN ESTATE
JANET MYERS, DIRECTOR OF WINEMAKING
Janet Myers has worked all over the world with several different varieties, but nowadays her focus is Cabernet Sauvignon. “I have a passion for Cabernet—“Cab is King”, and I have a deep interest in this renowned variety,” says Janet.
“Oakville is one of the best spots in the world for growing Bordeaux varietals, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, so Franciscan’s estate vineyard in Oakville is the perfect place to devote myself to exploring Cabernet and its nuances. I love the body and texture of Cab, how it has layers of intensity and richness, but with elegance and finesse.”
Traveling a wine road wasn’t Janet’s original path. In what now seems like another life, she gave up her pursuit of a doctorate in Biological Anthropology to move to London, where she worked in the restaurant industry. Living above a wine shop, she enjoyed sampling the wares of her downstairs neighbor and decided to learn about wine production. “When I realized that this was an industry that combined science and agriculture—which is my family’s background—I enrolled at UC Davis and haven’t looked back.”
Her first harvest was at the Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley. After graduating from UC Davis with a Master’s in Enology, she pursued harvest abroad to enrich her experience. Wanting to connect to her roots by spending time in Italy, her mother’s ancestral home country, Janet turned to the Antinori winemaker in Italy, who offered her a harvest internship at the Santa Cristina Estate in Chianti.
Before coming to Franciscan Estate in August of 2003 as Associate Winemaker, Janet also enjoyed stints in Australia’s Margaret River region and at big Cabernet producers Beaulieu Vineyard, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Louis Martini Winery. Janet was promoted to Director of Winemaking of Franciscan Estate and Mt Veeder in August 2005.
Janet finds that Franciscan’s venerable Oakville Estate vineyards have their own unique signature. “These vineyards give us very supple, full, elegant wines with beautiful cassis flavors and mouth-filling fine tannins,” she says. “That’s pure Oakville.”