' Winemaking | Hidden Ridge Vineyard

Winemaking

Timothy Milos, Our Winemaker



Timothy Milos & Marco DiGiulio

Winemakers Timothy Milos and Marco DiGiulio have worked together for years, and are both key to Hidden Ridge Vineyard’s lush, mountain wine. Each brings an enormous respect for the vineyard’s distinct characteristics to the winemaking process, and both can agree that Hidden Ridge Vineyard, and the wines it produces, are in a category all their own.

"In 1999 I was introduced to a vineyard that quite literally shifted the paradigm for me. A vineyard so steep, so well developed, so interesting in its planning scheme and with so much vision behind it that I could not help but be blown away. "  Winemaker Marco DiGiulio

Marco DiGiulio was one of the first winemakers to see Hidden Ridge Vineyard when the site was still in development. After hearing proprietor Casidy Ward describe the site to him on the phone—she’d called him to see if he might be interested in buying grapes from her someday—he knew he had to see it in person. He did, and thus began a relationship with Ward and her husband, Lynn Hofacket, that continues to this day. DiGiulio was the first in line to purchase fruit from Hidden Ridge in 2000, and when Ward and Hofacket decided to bottle their wine, DiGiulio became winemaker for Hidden Ridge. When DiGiulio’s other roles as a winemaker for luxury brands and managing partner at Bin to Bottle began to use up more of his time, he brought winemaker Timothy Milos, a rising star in his own right who’d worked alongside DiGiulio on many projects, on board with Hidden Ridge Vineyard as the chief winemaker.

Timothy Milos, Our Winemaker

“In my work I have the privilege of visiting many remote, remarkable sites. None have been as striking as Hidden Ridge Vineyard,” says Hidden Ridge Vineyard Winemaker Timothy Milos. “It should be no surprise that truly distinctive wine comes from this ground, and it is true, year after year, to its origin,” he adds.
A fifth generation native Californian, Timothy was born in San Francisco in 1969 and raised in rural west Marin County. Pursuing a childhood interest in the life sciences, Timothy attended U.C. Berkeley and Sonoma State University, from which he received a degree in Cell Biology, and worked at the USDA Plant Gene Expression Center as a research assistant. He then attended the graduate school at Cornell University, studying Molecular Plant Pathology on a USDA National Needs Fellowship. While at Cornell, he was introduced to the art and science of winemaking through the friendship of a local winemaker.

Wine had always been a passion, but the connection between the bottle enjoyed and its producer had not been made. Timothy’s discovery of this most noble combination of art and science changed his life’s direction. After leaving Cornell, he worked at a small Finger Lakes winery, Lamoreaux Landing, as a viticulturist and cellar hand prior to attending UC Davis.

Timothy studied winemaking and viticulture in the Masters program at the University of California at Davis in 1997. While attending Davis he worked harvest at Stags Leap Wine Cellars in Napa and at Opus One. He joined S. Anderson Vineyard as the Assistant Winemaker for the 1999 harvest. His first blends from the 1999 harvest became the 1999 S. Anderson Cabernet Sauvignon, which went on to be included in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year. Timothy returned to S. Anderson for the 2000 harvest, though he spent the first half of 2000 in Australia as a consulting winemaker for Dromana Estate in southern Victoria. He was promoted to Winemaker and Director of Viticulture by the Anderson family, and then continued with Cliff Lede Vineyards after their purchase of the property in 2002. In 2004 Timothy founded Vino di Milos, LLC, partnering with renowned winemaker Marco DiGiulio on projects in Napa and Sonoma counties, making wine for several luxury brands, many of which specialize in mountain Cabernet, including Hidden Ridge Vineyard in Sonoma County, for which Tim oversees winemaking at Bin to Bottle in Napa. Some of Timothy’s other clients include Haber Family Vineyards, Howell at the Moon Vineyards and Winery, Liquid Sky Vineyards, Loomis Family Vineyards, and Rubissow Wines.

Timothy notes that much of Hidden Ridge Vineyard’s distinctive character stems from owners Lynn and Casidy. “To have built such a place with their own hands! It is as they are—sui generis—and bridges several worlds as they do: the vineyard represents their rugged and fierce independence in daring to go their own way in developing a site so remote, while the wine captures their elegant and truly world-class understanding of not just the finer things in life, but in living every moment to its fullest,” he says.