Wineries of Napa Valley – with Sequoia Grove


Located on Hwy 29 in Napa Valley, Sequoia Grove Winery sits on 22 acres in the heart of the valley in a region known as the Rutherford Bench. Named for the huge Sequoia trees in front of the winery, it was founded by Jim Allen in 1978, and has one of the first subterranean cellars in the valley, with the winery built right over the barrel storage cellars.
Brothers Jim (winemaking) and Steve (vineyard) were joined by Michael Trujillo in 1982. Mike was fortunate to learn much of his craft from Jim, but it didn’t hurt to spend some time at the elbows of legends like André Tchelistcheff and Tony Soter. In 1991, Mike started his own label, Karl Lawrence, while continuing to assist Jim with the winemaking at Sequoia Grove. Mike became the Sequoia Grove winemaker in 1998, with Jim Allen’s retirement.

Fast forward to today, Mike is now Director of Winemaking and President of Sequoia Grove. He says one of the best decisions he’s made was hiring Molly Hill to oversee the daily operations and quality control. The new owners of Sequoia Grove Winery (the Koptf sisters, whose father founded Kobrand, Sequoia Grove’s marketing arm) have given Mike a free hand to push to the wine to higher quality, and together he and Molly they have done just that.

Join us as we talk with Mike Trujillo about Sequoia Grove’s past, present and future, and discover that everything old is new again!

For more info:

Sequoia Grove:

Sponsor: The Wine Club, Fine Wine Merchants:

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Show #346
(50:42 min 48.7MB)

4 Responses to “Wineries of Napa Valley – with Sequoia Grove”

  1. 1 Manda Wolf Nov 18th, 2013 at 6:58 am

    It makes my day when I visit your site and find a new podcast. Great way to start a Monday morning!

    I wanted to share my honeymoon story with you just to show it can be both ways. On our honeymoon my hubby and I took a weeklong trip to Southern Illinois (which is our wine country) to tour all of the wineries. We hit them all in 3 days and filled the back of our jeep up with wine, I think there were 15 or 16 cases packed in there and we couldn’t fit anymore. That was 3 years ago. Most of the wine is gone by now but it was really cool to relive all those memories. We would crack one open and sit on the sofa and talk about the drive to that winery, helping the wine maker out when we arrived before it opened, the good conversations with the winemakers/owners/very educated people working at the bar. It was interested to see that the wineries that we had a great time at we went through their wine first. The (very) few we had a bad experience with seemed to stay in the cellar. But there were some that we opened (from all wineries) that in retrospect we couldn’t remember why we liked this wine, what were we thinking.

    So I think it is a little of both. If I have a bad experience in the tasting room I’m not going back and I will not buy the wines off the shelf, even if I really enjoyed it, I will find something different. But if the atmosphere is right, the people are great to get along with, and the wine is good (but maybe not as good) I will frequent that winery more.

    Sorry for the long comment! Keep up the good work guys, it really makes my day when I get to listen to you!

  2. 2 GrapeRadio Bunch Nov 18th, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Thanks, Manda! It makes OUR day when we get comments such as yours. Maybe some day we’ll get to Illinois wine country too!


  3. 3 Dave Nov 20th, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    When was this podcast recorded? Karl Lawerence is no more. He is now making wine under the KaDieM label. Do you release podcast in chronological order? I’m a big fan if what you guys do, but I am a bit confused about your release schedule.

  4. 4 GrapeRadio Bunch Nov 20th, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Dave,

    Generally, we do release our interviews in chronological order. We interviewed Michael in our studio in May 2013. The news regarding the discontinuance of the Karl Lawrence label was indeed “out” at the time, but the focus of our interview was on Mike’s efforts with Sequoia Grove – not Karl Lawrence, thus little was discussed or enumerated upon concerning the Karl Lawrence label. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.


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