Joel Peterson, AKA the Godfather of Zin, has been a winemaker for 50 years. Joel founded and built Ravenswood into a powerhouse Zinfandel brand. Joel’s latest project is Once & Future Wine where he focuses on making small production, hand crafted single vineyard Zinfandels, resurrecting his old redwood fermenters that honor the distinctive typicity of site.
Joel was a senior vice president and member of the senior executive team at Constellation Brands for 15 years. A current member and former president of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance (SVVGA), Joel has also served on the Board of Directors for the Sonoma County Vintners. A founding board member and former two-time president of ZAP, he is also an advisor to the Historic Vineyard Society. Joel was the lead winemaker and chairman of the Heritage Vineyard project, a joint project of ZAP and UC Davis to investigate Zinfandel clones. Joel is the long-time moderator for “Flights,” ZAP’s educational lecture series on Zinfandel. In 2011, Joel was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame, and he was voted as one of the “20 Most Admired People in the North American Wine Industry” by Vineyard and Winery Management magazine.