Randle Johnson

Winemaker, Artezin Wines
Winemaker, The Hess Collection Winery
Consulting Winemaker, Colomé́ & Amalaya

A native Californian, Randle attended the University of California at Davis and graduated with an M.S. in Viticulture in 1974. As a Viticulturist for the original Souverain Winery in Rutherford, he gained first-hand knowledge about Napa Valley’s diverse microclimates and their influence on grape characteristics. Later, he became Assistant Winemaker, under the guidance of Souverain Winemaker Phil Baxter.

In 1977, Randle became the Vineyard Manager and Cellar Master for Mayacamas Vineyards, located at 2,500 feet elevation on Mount Veeder in the western hills of Napa Valley. This experience fostered an intense interest in the unique attributes of mountain grape growing. At Mayacamas, he experimented with producing wines from different Mount Veeder vineyards.

Randle then took a position as Winemaker at Stags’ Leap Winery for two years before joining Donald Hess. Randle started as Winemaker for The Hess Collection in 1983, when Donald Hess set aside a portion of the grapes from his Mount Veeder vineyards for his own premium wine label. Since then, Randle has continued to hone and refine his winemaking style to create elegant wines with great complexity, depth and structure.

With Artezin, Randle handcrafts wines with pure varietal character and focuses on heirloom varieties, being sensitive to their inherent uniqueness and to the terroir in which they grow. Artezin currently produces Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan, Charbono and Mourvèdre – an interesting and diverse portfolio. To create these expressive wines, Randle seeks out sustainably farmed, family-owned vineyards in Mendocino and Amador Counties and Sonoma’s Russian River and Dry Creek Valley. Most of these vineyards are farmed by second- and third-generation growers with whom he has enduring relationships.

Meet the Winemakers