As the winemaker for Paraduxx, Don LaBorde is committed to the idea that the Napa Valley is capable of producing exceptional contemporary blends that showcase a uniquely Californian personality. Don combines his mastery of multiple grape varieties, winemaking experience spanning two continents, and a love of blending to make wines acclaimed for their stature and sophistication.
Though born and raised in Louisiana, Don gained an international perspective on winemaking by earning his wine science degree from Australia's Charles Sturt University - one of the world's most respected viticulture and enology schools. At Charles Sturt, Don was selected for the prestigious assistant research winemaker position at Australia's National Wine and Grape Industry Center, where he honed his skills with multiple grape varieties.
Don's experience working across the varietal spectrum continued at Napa Valley's Trefethen Family Vineyards, where Don was the enologist. At Trefethen, Don worked with all five red Bordeaux grapes, as well as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Working with Trefethen's Bordeaux varieties, Don developed a barrel-by-barrel approach to blending. Don further refined his approach to blending when he became the assistant winemaker at Francis Coppola Winery, in 2008, where he supervised winemaking activities at multiple facilities. "Like Duckhorn Wine Company, Coppola offered the rare opportunity to work alongside several great winemakers," said Don, "I gained invaluable experience that allowed me to fine-tune a small-lot approach to achieving small-lot quality."
Don joined Duckhorn Wine Company in 2011 as the asssociate winemake for Sonoma County, overseeing Decoy. Recognized for his exceptional palate and his phenomenal ability to work with an array of varieties, Don was soon named the winemaker for Decoy, where he played a key role in establishing it as one of the modern wine industry's great success stories.
In 2014, in recognition of his skill as a winemaker, and his masterful blending ability, Don was named winemaker for Paraduxx. "Paraduxx is a winemaker's dream." said Don. Working with legendary Napa Valley growers and our own phenomenal Estate Vineyards, I get to work with the finest fruit in the world, and make wines that are not limited to specific grape varieties, or varietal percentages. We create our own benchmarks at Paraduxx. This gives us remarkable freedom to create iconic and compelling blends that capture the rich diversity of Napa Valley.