Julie Johnson is the winemaker and owner of Tres Sabores, a winery nestled into the western Rutherford bench land of the Napa Valley. Passionate about food, wine, and the land, for the last 35 years Julie has lived on her certified organic farm, growing wine grapes (Cabernet, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah), pomegranates, lemons and olives, and raising her children --not to mention Golden Retrievers, Guinea Hens, and sheep!
A native of California, Julie graduated from Columbia University as a P.H.N. after receiving a B.A. from Bowdoin College. Relocating to the Napa Valley in 1980, she practiced nursing even as she founded Frog’s Leap Winery in 1981 (with her first husband, John Williams and partner, Larry Turley). She was proud to attend the first Atlanta High Museum auction and has been a regular attendee ever since. In 1990 she joined with Michaela Rodeno, past CEO at St. Supery Winery, and founded “Women for Wine Sense, a vital national organization whose “vision is to support the appreciation for and responsible consumption of wine”. Julie started Tres Sabores in 1999 as a single vineyard estate and soon began making her own wine from the heritage Zinfandel growing right outside her front door. Together, Julie and her husband, Jon Engelskirger, also produce a ‘studio wine series’ which explores new, fascinating varietals from appellations outside of the Napa Valley.
Julie speaks and participates in seminars on the subjects of Women in Wine and Regenerative Farming for a variety of clients and at educational venues around the country. Recently, she was a featured panelist at the World Climate Research Program, AGU Conference. She is currently active in C.C.O.F (California Certified Organic Farms), Wild Farm Alliance, the Napa Vintners and Grape Growers, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP), and the Rutherford Dust Society. At the end of the day, she sleeps best if she feels that she has been a thoughtful and energetic steward of the land and has capped off the day with a good glass of wine!
An intrepid traveler, Julie was very excited to be asked back to Food & Wine Trails, having hosted their first Tour of Morocco in November of 2021 with ZAP. This voyage, embarking from Barcelona, will offer travelers the opportunity to discover new wine varietals, delve into regenerative, ecologically wise practices in vineyards and on farms, explore a pomegranate-growing region of the world, enjoy the best in regional, coastal cuisine, and experience amazing Persian and Spanish art and architecture. Julie brings a wealth of travel experience and a unique perspective to this voyage having visited Italy and Sicily, France, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, and the “Silk Road” through Iran and Uzbekistan. Julie and Jon look forward to the new friends, fabulous artistic experiences, and delicious food and wine that will be a part of this trip. Let’s explore Spain and Portugal together while benefiting our beloved Atlanta High Museum of Art!