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Juan Muñoz-Oca Chief Winegrowing Officer

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.

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