Ram’s Gate taps Joe Nielsen as director of winemaking
After a decade of experience making world-class wines, Joe Nielsen is overseeing every aspect of the winemaking team at Ram’s Gate Winery in the Sonoma Valley, in eastern Sonoma County.
A Michigan native with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture, Nielsen also completed the Ag Tech program in enology and viticulture at Michigan State University. He is slated to complete an executive wine master’s degree in business administration from Sonoma State University in fall 2018.
After working at Merryvale Vineayrds in Napa, Nielsen joined the team at Donelan Family Wines. During the past nine years he worked his way first to assistant winemaker and then to head winemaker. As head winemaker at Donelan, he received more than 50 90+ ratings from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, as well as from other leading critics. Nielsen’s acute attention to detail recently earned him a rare 100-point wine score from reviewer Jeb Dunnick for a 2013 Knight’s Valley Syrah.
Located in the Carneros winemaking region and opened in fall 2011, Ram’s Gate focuses on small-lot Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Ram’s Gate is a Certified Sustainable Vineyard and certified for Fish Friendly Farming.