Pragmatic Process Management, Practical Winemaking Experience
Born in the Campania region of Italy, raised in Venezuela, and educated in the United States, Gianni’s formal training is in Chemical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, and Information Technology. He has over twenty-five years of industrial experience in the process manufacturing industries in the United States and Europe, most notably in Food and Beverage, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, and Oil & Gas. His efforts have included business development in Europe and South America, delivery of process characterization and production operations performance workshops, and implementation of model-based field measurement systems and process control projects. He has spent his entire career using process analytical technologies to achieve better understanding of the dynamics of natural processes, including winemaking.
After twenty years of living in Belgium and working throughout Europe, Gianni returned to the U.S. and moved to Napa, California. At this point, he turned his attention to the measurement of phenolic compounds in red grapes and wine, and more specifically to the on-going research efforts in this area in the Viticulture & Enology Department at U.C. Davis. Here he attended the VEN 215 Sensometrics course, investigated the original tannin precipitation method being developed in Prof. Doug O. Adams' laboratory, and evaluated the technology for rapid quantification of phenolic compounds in red wine ferments that was assembled in Prof. Roger B. Boulton's laboratory.
Always striving to be pragmatic and to "get his hands dirty", he sought to implement his knowledge of process engineering, mathematics, and chemistry with the practical applications of the Harbertson-Adams Assay. Gianni formed a company called Enotrex LLC that provides the integrated technologies, base protocols, and calibrations to Wine X Ray.
States Gianni, "I originate from a very ancient wine region of the world. I have been in love with wine since birth, I suppose. To be able to apply my practical engineering and process understanding experience to winemaking is a dream come true."
A California native from Marin County, Scott attended U.C. Davis and graduated with a B.S. in Fermentation Science. While studying at Davis, Scott decided to increase his understanding of the world of wine and set out to work in the Chianti Classico region of Italy at the prestigious Fattorie Isole e Olena winery. After returning to Davis and completing his degree, he once again set out for Italy and worked at the Badia a Passignano Estate. "Perhaps the greatest single element of wine that I learned in Tuscany is that you are your property." says Scott. This insight led him a few years later to a chance encounter with Francis Coppola and his wife Eleanor, owners of Inglenook estate in Rutherford, California. As a result, Scott took over the Estate's Winemaking and Vineyard Management duties, created and nurtured the Rubicon and Cask wines, and crafted a number of other wines and labels including the powerhouse "Diamond Series". Eighteen years to the day, McLeod left the estate in May of 2010 to create his own path.
Scott and three partners founded and built Safe Harbor Wine Storage in 2007, a 3.8 million gallon wine enhancement and storage facility in Napa. Today, Safe Harbor, oxygenates and oak ages wines for twenty clients. (The offices for Wine X Ray are located on the second floor). Additionally, Scott is a member of Safari Vineyard Management that operates 178 acres of Bordeaux varietals in the foothills and Monterey County.
Scott also serves as Winemaker for George Lucas' Skywalker Vineyard in Marin County as well as Consulting Winemaker for Beringer's Private Reserve, Single Vineyard and Knights Valley programs and Consulting Winemaker for Daou Vineyards in Paso Robles among others. "I'm always amazed by the integration of science and nature in winemaking and how little we really understand about the process. But that keeps it interesting. And to be able to bring meaningful and beneficial changes to a client's winemaking procedures is a win for everyone."