Brooks Painter

Director of Winemaking, V. Sattui Winery


Brooks counts Warren Winiarski, Robert Mondavi and Dario Sattui as his biggest influences.

How many years have you been in the Napa Valley wine industry?

21 years.

How did you get started in the wine business?

Part-time job on a bottling line during college.

Which wine was your "a-ha!" wine – the one that made you love wine or inspired you to get into the industry?

1974 Ridge Montebello Cabernet Sauvignon.

Name a Napa Valley vintner who has influenced you and briefly explain why.

Warren Winiarski, for his attention to detail. Robert Mondavi, for his passion. Dario Sattui, for his customer service.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?

I love my work!

What are the greatest challenges?

I love my work!

Our motto at the NVV is "cultivating excellence." What does this phrase mean to you and how do you cultivate excellence at your winery?

Hard work, passion and understanding that failure is not an option.

What do you think makes Napa Valley unique compared to other wine regions?

Climate, soil and people.

What are you doing at your winery to help preserve and enhance Napa Valley for the future?

Sustainable growing practices, green vineyards and winery, economical approaches from grape to cork, making it economical to farm by creating a high-value product that supports agriculture. Without a viable end product, growers would not be able to farm.

How does your winery help tell the Napa Valley story?

Founded in 1885, using Napa Valley grapes.

If you weren't a Napa Valley vintner, what would you be doing?

Sailing.

If you could open a bottle of your wine and share it with any three people (living or not), who would they be?

Plato, Louis Pasteur and Nelson Mandela.

What advice would you offer someone trying to get into the Napa Valley wine industry?

Start from the bottom up and learn every job in the business.

What's one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I made wine in Texas.