Born and raised in Sonoma County, Darrell Holbrook spent his childhood among the vineyards. By age 12, Darrell often accompanied his father to his job at Lytton Springs Winery, now Ridge Vineyards, driving tractors and helping where he could. The beauty of the landscape and excitement of working in this hands-on industry was of deep interest to him even at a young age.
In 1994, after working at Lytton Springs in the vineyards, he began an apprenticeship under world-renowned winemaker, David Ramey and moved into the cellar at Chalk Hill Estate. By listening to his mentors and immersing himself in the winemaking process from the ground-up, he worked his way up from a cellar intern to Enologist and Production Manager, and then Assistant Winemaker in 2009.
In 2019, with more than 25 years of experience in the wine industry, Darrell was promoted to Winemaker at Chalk Hill Estate, which he considers a second home. He remains enthralled by its beauty, diversity, exceptional vineyards, and the thrill of harvest time at Chalk Hill. His favorite part of the day during harvest is watching the sunrise over Windy Ridge on the estate while processing grapes on the crush pad.
Over the years, he’s learned that patience, planning, site-specific viticulture, balance and consistency, and good people make great wine. When he’s not in the cellar, Darrel enjoys golfing, camping, boating, watching the San Francisco 49ers, and spending time with his family.