Longtime winemaker at Girard Napa Valley, Glenn Hugo, takes on an added role as winemaker for Sonoma Valley’s iconic B.R. Cohn Winery. Marco DiGiulio, Chief Winemaker at Vintage Wine Estates, who owns both properties, announced that Hugo will assume the reigns at B.R. Cohn Winery based on his impressive record for crafting balanced, expressive and high-scoring wines at Girard Winery.
Girard is currently constructing a new production and tasting room on Dunaweal Lane in Calistoga, opening harvest 2018. Hugo will have his feet planted in both valleys as he oversees the launch of the new Girard winery and his first vintage at B.R. Cohn. B.R. Cohn Winery, considered one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon sites in Sonoma, produces small-lot estate, vineyard-designated and nationally available Silver Label wines.
“I am delighted that Glenn has agreed to take on this dual winemaking role,” says DiGiulio. “His intellectual curiosity to explore stylistic differences between the two valleys prompted him to accept the challenge”
DiGiulio has a long-time relationship with B.R. Cohn Winery and the estate Olive Hill Vineyard. He was a winemaking consultant to the founder from 2004 to 2010 and has been the winemaker since the sale to Vintage Wine Estates in July 2016. DiGiulio intends to impart his deep knowledge of the site to his successor.
Hugo’s background in the restaurant industry informs his approach to winemaking and wine as part of the culinary experience. A native Texan, Hugo developed his passion for wine in the restaurant industry before moving with his wife to Napa Valley in 2003 to pursue a dream of becoming a winemaker.
“My wife and I quit our jobs and packed up everything 15 years ago to follow our love for wine,” says Hugo.
Hugo’s formative winemaking experience was in Napa Valley and includes early assignments with Provenance Vineyards, where he learned from Napa legend Tom Rinaldi. As General Manager of Bounty Hunter Wine Bar in downtown Napa, Hugo met Marco DiGiulio, Chief Winemaker for Vintage Wine Estates, who launched Hugo on his winemaking career at Girard.
He started at Girard Winery as a harvest intern. Quickly promoted to Cellar Master and Assistant Winemaker, Hugo earned the title of Girard Winemaker in 2010. Hugo has garnered numerous awards, accolades and 90+ point scores for the Girard portfolio.
Glenn Hugo’s winemaking philosophy is simple: wine is to be shared with friends, family and great food; it is a living and breathing expression that constantly evolves and instills memories. He describes himself as down-to-earth and one of the least pretentious winemakers you’ll encounter.
“I appreciate wines from all over the world, but this is home,” says Hugo. “I’ve had great wines from Napa and Sonoma and now my personal and professional goal is to make wines in both.”