Staff Feature: Rob Lloyd
The success and future of any winery largely depend on the knowledge, skills, and imagination of the enterprise’s principal winemaker. That’s why boutique wineries like Handwritten Wines of Yountville receives so many awards and accolades for their beautifully handcrafted wines.
Since 2010, after Rob Lloyd was named Executive Winemaker at Handwritten Wines, this boutique winery has grown substantially in reputation and stature thanks to Rob’s superior leadership and creativity in producing some of Napa Valley’s finest handcrafted wines.
Rob Lloyd’s Early Years in Winemaking
Following graduation from the University of California at Irvine with an Economics degree, Rob Lloyd moved to Napa Valley, where his mother had recently settled.
Intending to work only during the summer while looking for a position that matched his Econ degree, Rob’s first wine-related job was working in the tasting room and then on the night shift during harvest season at Cakebread Cellars in Rutherford.
Following that first introduction to the winemaking process, Rob moved over to Stag’s Leap, another fine Napa Valley winery, where he continued to interact and question each phase of the process.
By that time, Rob Lloyd’s intended direction had changed entirely as his interest in winemaking had peaked sufficiently to decide to return to school to pursue a degree in Enology, the study of winemaking.
Earning a Master’s Degree in the Study of Winemaking
Committed to a long-term goal of becoming a successful winemaker, Rob returned to university at Santa Rosa Junior College and later to Sonoma State to earn the prerequisite background credits in Chemistry and Biology. Upon completion, he applied to the master’s program in Enology at the University of California Davis.
Rob continued to work at the wineries during this period and, in 1999, earned his Master of Science in Viticulture and Enology degree. He was now prepared to seize the next opportunity to prove his winemaking skill.
Moving Up the Winemaking Ladder
With considerable hands-on experience and an enology degree, Rob accepted a position as Enologist at Sonoma County’s LaCrema Winery where he was soon promoted to Assistant Winemaker.
In 2001, Rob moved back to Napa Valley to become Assistant Winemaker at Rombauer Estate, where he eventually became the principal Winemaker from 2006 through 2008.
Having a decade of hands-on winemaking experience, Rob, along with his wife Bonnie, considered taking an ownership role in winemaking and consulting. In 2008, Lloyd Cellars and Lloyd Consulting were born.
Their first significant step was co-founding JaM Cellars, where Rob also served as the original winemaker.
Executive Winemaker for Handwritten Wines and Jessup Cellars
In 2010, the ideal opportunity arose when the Good Life Wine Collective partners invited Rob to become their Executive Winemaker for both of their boutique wineries. A perfect match for his sophisticated skills, producing “rich, velvety handcrafted wines that are accessible in their youth, yet have the structure to age for a very long time” became the principal objective for Rob Lloyd’s winemaking teams at both Handwritten Wines and Jessup Cellars.
Producing the highest-quality, handcrafted wines in a boutique winery has been Rob Lloyd’s objective throughout his career.
Wine lovers can sample some of Rob Lloyd’s excellent handcrafted wines by scheduling a winetasting at Handwritten Wines Tasting Room in Yountville.
Schedule a winetasting at Handwritten Wines
Make your reservations for an expertly curated wine tasting to enjoy some of Rob Lloyd’s many excellent creations.