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New Consulting Winemaker at Skinner

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Julien Fayard will bring a French influence to El Dorado County's Skinner Vinyards and Winery Julien Fayard will bring a French influence to El Dorado County's Skinner Vinyards and Winery

TASTE News Service, March 30, 2022 - Skinner Vineyards and Winery, a multi-generational family-owned and operated wine brand known for its sustainably farmed, Rhône-inspired wines from El Dorado County, has announced French-born Julien Fayard of Napa Valley as Consulting Winemaker.

“With the 2022 vintage blossoming in the vineyards, we are extremely pleased to welcome Julien to our winery family,” said Carey Skinner, Proprietor, Skinner Vineyards and Winery. “He is one of Napa Valley’s most respected winemakers and we are excited for him to play an integral role in shepherding our wines from vine to bottle. We appreciate that the wines he makes are a pure expression of their terroir, highlighting the specificities and characteristics of the fruit, vineyard management, soil and climate.”

"I have long admired the history of wine throughout California, and particularly the potential of developments in El Dorado County, mixing mountain climate and Rhône-inspired varietals” said Winemaker Julien Fayard. “Skinner Vineyards and Winery shares my desire to produce elevated wines with an identity while remaining committed to sustainability. I look forward to honoring the family’s 161 year legacy with the wines we will produce together.”

Originally from France, Julien began his career as a winemaker producing quality rosé at his family’s winery in Provence. In Bordeaux he worked at Lafite Rothschild and Smith Haut Laffite before relocating to Napa Valley. In Napa, he was Philippe Melka’s director of winemaking for eight years before launching his own projects. Julien earned his Master in Agricultural Engineering from ESA France and his Master in Winemaking from Toulouse France. In 2013, he received his MBA from University of California Davis.

Established in 1861, Skinner Vineyards and Winery embodies the adventurous spirit exemplified by James Skinner as a California Gold Rush pioneer and winemaker, blending old-world skill and traditions with advanced environmental opportunities that protect and respect the land and future generations.

Once known as the J. Skinner Native Wine & Brandy, one of the country’s first and largest operating wineries in the 19th century, Skinner Vineyards and Winery was reborn with the sixth generation a few miles from the original property in 2007. Today the brand owns three vineyards totaling 42 planted acres in the Sierra Foothills of El Dorado County. Their vineyards focus on Rhône varietals: red grapes include Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Counoise, Zinfandel, Carignan, Trousseau, Mission, Cinsault, and white grapes include Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, and Trousseau Gris. They also grow some lesser-known varietals such as Bourboulenc, Rolle and the Skinner clone of Petite Bouschet.

Editor’s note:  For more information about Skinner Vineyards and Winery visit

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