Sara Fowler joins Liana Estates with decades of winemaking experience, pouring her knowledge, passion and creativity into a new taste of Carneros. Sara’s passion for innovative blending makes her the perfect fit for Liana Estates’ modern winery concept, paying homage to the Carneros region’s notable Pinot and Chardonnay while also cultivating "lost grape" varietals.
Sara’s first foray into the wine industry was at Kendall-Jackson Winery as a seasonal staff member during high school and college. There, she gained a solid foundation of winemaking and mentorship from then Head Winemaker Jed Steele (Steele Wines). But Sara was no stranger to agriculture – her family has owned and operated a 400-acre organic ranch dating back to 1884, which served as Sara’s very first vineyard after deciding to pursue winemaking as a career.
While she initially studied Art in college, Sara took a year hiatus from school and lived in Mexico on a sailboat where she reflected on a future career. When she moved back, Sara applied and was accepted to California State University, Fresno, where she doubled as a student and research assistant for the Viticulture Enology Research Center. Upon completion of the program, she worked for more than seven years as the Associate Winemaker at Franciscan and Mt. Veeder Winery under Larry Levin, where she refined and perfected her craft. Through her tenure at Franciscan, Sara worked in Chile for Veramonte during the 2002 harvest season. She also had the honor to work with world-renowned wine consultant Michel Rolland, as well as use her talent for blending and creating Meritage wines in the terroir-driven Bordeaux blends of Quintessa and Estancia from 1999 to 2002.
Over the past decade, Sara has traveled the world representing Napa Valley as a speaker, guest panelist, trainer, and wine educator. Most recently, she has served as winemaker of the legendary Peju Province Winery in Napa Valley. She currently lives in St. Helena with her husband, Matt, and three sons, and enjoys travel, gourmet cooking, and all things wine.