Justin Michaud has been involved in the wine industry since 2001, with several years in Washington State. Justin’s introduction into the wine business began in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, with a company responsible for all phases of grape growing over several different sites. These sites ranged in elevation from sea level to 2,000 feet and encompassed several different varietals, soil types, and pest pressures. This provided Justin with an excellent education into the multiple aspects and challenges of growing and maintaining a vineyard.
After a few years in California Justin began work with Canoe Ridge Vineyards in Walla Walla, Washington. Here he transitioned from working in the vineyards to working in the winery. He was able to work with several gifted winemakers, found he thoroughly enjoyed the winemaking, and committed to learning everything he could about the making of great wine. He soon had the opportunity to begin as Cellar Master with Bergevin Lane Vineyards, a 1,000 ton custom crush facility. At BLV he was able to work closely with the winemaker and deal with several different vineyard sites, giving him a better understanding of what and where the best fruit in the State was being grown.
In 2005 Justin spent a few months in New Zealand as part of the winemaking crew at Kim Crawford wines. This opportunity to work in another country allowed him to experience new practices and techniques used in winemaking which he continues to incorporate into his work. On return from New Zealand, he began work at Ash Hollow Winery where he moved from Assistant Winemaker to Winemaker during his 5 years with them. This was another learning opportunity to work with one of his mentors, Steve Clifton. Steve is based out of Santa Barbra, CA and his consulting with Ash Hollow taught Justin great methods for wine making he continues to employ today.
In 2009 he joined Goose Ridge Vineyards as their Cellar Master working with Charlie Hoppes and Joe Hudon, processing 5,000 tons in his first vintage and almost 10,000 tons by the time he left. Justin advanced to Winemaker for their second label, Stone Cap, which received great awards and press. He especially enjoyed working along side Kendall Mix, Winemaker for the Goose Ridge Wines label, learning the things important to him in making great wine.
Justin began with Coyote Canyon Winery in 2014 and we are enjoying having him as an integral part of our team.
“I’m enjoying working with Coyote Canyon Winery. The Estate Vineyard is growing several interesting varietals and I enjoy showcasing the quality of the vineyard through the expression of well-balanced wines. I am especially excited to work with the Albarino and Roussanne on the white side, working to make them even crisper and more aromatic. For the red side, I’ve enjoyed making the Grenache and other Rhone style reds from the vineyard and glad that I have a chance to work with Cabernet Sauvignon, which grow exceptionally well here.”