Whitehall Lane Winery Spotlight – Week Four: Meet the Winemaker
“I knew I wanted to be a winemaker when I was 20 years old. The science, history, geology, sensory evaluation, farming…it all interested me.”
-Jason Moulton, Whitehall Lane Winemaker
Our last Whitehall Lane December spotlight focuses on the man behind all this magic and science, Jason Moulton. Jason plays a huge role at Whitehall Lane. Moulton is a hands-on winemaker utilizing the knowledge he has gained at wineries across the globe. The Leonardini Family introduced Jason as their winemaker in 2016. He was excited to join the Whitehall Lane team because of the Leonardini’s commitment to their vineyards and wine. He has immersed himself in the nuances of the eight estate vineyards, energizes the winemaking team and elevated the wine quality.
Jason Moulton has spent over 17 years making wine in Napa Valley, Russian River, Canada, New Zealand, Bordeaux and South Africa. He has had the opportunity to work with renowned winemakers Philippe Melka, David Ramey, and Ashley Heisey. The first winery that Moulton worked at was in Southern Illinois. Knowing that he needed more of an educational foundation in winemaking, he moved to the Okanagan Valley in Canada to attend a winery assistant certificate program through the University of British Columbia. While working and studying in Canada, Moulton wanted to know more, so he completed the Canadian program and applied to Lincoln University in New Zealand. His move to New Zealand (Christchurch) was to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Viticulture and Enology. From there, he graduated and worked a few harvests in New Zealand. Moulton began what is commonly known in the wine industry as reverse harvest travelling. Travelling to the North and South hemispheres for work allows for a great deal of work experience in a short timeframe. From New Zealand, he went to Bordeaux, then to South Africa, then back to Bordeaux, until finally, Moulton made the decision to look for a permanent position in Napa Valley. He finally got his break working with Long Meadow Ranch just up the road from Whitehall Lane.
Once Jason settled into the winemaking role at Whitehall Lane, he focused on establishing sustainable practices within the entire facility and the six Napa estate vineyards. In 2018, his “Green Team” achieved that goal and the vision of becoming a responsibly sustainable company with energy, water, and green practices was completed through the Napa Green Certification program.
In addition to being a winemaker, Jason is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and a certified wine judge through the American Wine Society. He lives in Calistoga with his wife and two children.