News & Press
Feb 22, 2023
Juan Muñoz-Oca - Chief Winegrowing Officer
LARKSPUR, Calif., February 22, 2023 – O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, a Certified B Corporation, is pleased to announce the appointment of Juan Muñoz-Oca as Chief Winegrowing Officer. Muñoz-Oca spent almost 20 years at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in viticulture and winemaking roles. At O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, Muñoz-Oca will join the Executive Leadership Team overseeing the entirety of grape-to-wine production, he starts on March 13.
Muñoz-Oca will lead a team of talented winemakers across two California wineries, in Parlier and Paso Robles, crafting exceptional quality wines for O’Neill’s National Brands as well as Exclusive and private label wines for customers. In addition, he will lead the Grower Relations team, partnering with over 180 California sustainably certified growers farming 15,000 vineyard acres for O’Neill’s production.
“Juan possesses extensive winemaking and viticultural experience, with a deep understanding of team dynamics and leadership. At our Parlier and Paso Robles wineries, I strongly believe that Juan will bring great energy to supporting our teams. From winemaking, grower relations, and client relationships, Juan is the perfect fit to forward our sustainability ethos and be an integral part of growing our portfolio of brands,” said O’Neill Vintners & Distillers CEO Jeff O’Neill. “We could not be more excited to welcome Juan into the O’Neill family.”
Muñoz-Oca has a true passion not only for making great wine but impacting the way people experience it. He believes that wine and wineries have the ability to influence geography, communities, and social environments. These long-held beliefs will be amplified at O’Neill Vintners & Distillers wineries, championing business as a force for good. “Joining the O’Neill team brings reality to my vision that wine brings people and the earth together,” said Muñoz-Oca. “I am hopelessly optimistic and want future generations to enjoy wine over gatherings and conversations, while we grow grapes and make wine in the sustainable conditions, we are lucky enough to do today, and the carbon neutral winemaking O’Neill is striving for in the near future.”
Raised in Mendoza, Argentina, Muñoz-Oca gained respect for wine at an early age. Owing his love of wine to his Spanish roots, Muñoz-Oca began picking his first grapes at the age of eight and later worked at a wine cellar for an after-school job. Muñoz-Oca holds dual degrees in agricultural engineering as well as enology and viticulture from the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, and is a graduate of Columbia Business School at Columbia University in New York City. He first joined the winemaking team at Terrazas de Los Andes, an Argentine premium winery owned by LVMH. After multiple harvests in Australia, France, and Spain, Munoz-Oca moved to Washington and joined Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 2001, most recently responsible for overseeing grape growing and winemaking at all of their properties in Washington, Oregon, and California.