March 6, 2020 | by Lisa Mattson
The start of a new decade coincides with some exciting changes in leadership at Jordan Winery. Because we’ve been making wine for 44 vintages and counting, we have several employees who have worked here for decades, and the time for their retirement has arrived, albeit bittersweet. Today, we want to introduce you to three faces that represent the future at Jordan in administration, winemaking and viticulture–and all are female. Jordan has always had many women in leadership, and that continues to trend upward. Of the 10 departments at Jordan, seven are now led by women for the first time. This announcement also coincides with International Women’s Day (March 8) and Women’s History Month, and John Jordan couldn’t be more thrilled about the decade ahead.
Meet Devonna Smith, Chief Financial Officer
Devonna Smith joins Jordan Winery as chief financial officer, succeeding Ron Kampel, who has worked at Jordan for 24 years and has led the company’s accounting, human resources and information technology departments since 2005. Devonna loves to crunch numbers and find ways to improve systems. Born and raised in Colusa, Calif., she has lived in the Napa Valley since 1988, when she married her high school sweetheart. She will take on Jordan Winery’s chief financial officer role in April 2020, overseeing finance, accounting, human resources and IT. Devonna most recently served as the CFO and chief of staff at Chappellet Winery and Vineyard for seven years. There, she led finance and human resources, oversaw administration and IT, and worked closely with all areas of the business from winemaking/production, sales and marketing. Prior to Chappellet, Devonna worked as CFO and manager of administration at Long Meadow Ranch, where the company grew from its winemaking roots to include e-commerce, vineyards, a restaurant, a sustainable ranch, a cattle company and a real estate investment company. Before working at wineries, Smith honed her accounting skills at several CPA firms in Wine Country, gaining specific wine accounting and financial reporting expertise. Smith received her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from California State University, Chico, and she has worked in accounting, finance and management for more than 30 years.
Meet Maggie Kruse, Winemaker
Maggie Kruse, who was promoted to winemaker at Jordan last summer, will now oversee both winemaking and winegrowing at Jordan. Maggie joined Jordan in 2006 as enologist and was mentored by longtime Jordan winemaker and winegrower Rob Davis, who retired in 2019 after his 43rd growing season. She is only the second winemaker in Jordan history. The daughter of a beer brewer, Maggie grew up in Milwaukee, Wis., learning about fermentation at an early age. She moved to the Napa Valley at age 17 to pursue her dream of becoming a winemaker. After graduating from University of California, Davis, she worked as an intern at two wineries before joining Jordan Winery as enologist in 2006. She was mentored by winemaker Rob Davis through promotions to assistant winemaker and associate winemaker over a decade, and she became Jordan’s head winemaker in July 2019. Maggie manages all winemaking and winegrowing staff, including the assistant winemaker, enologist, cellar crew and grower relations manager, and she also oversees the day-to-day operations in the cellars, such as quality control experiments, fermentation monitoring, tank and lot organizing, selecting and inspecting barrels, blending, batonnage, selecting corks and bottles, bottling and labeling.
Meet Dana Grande, Grower Relations Manager
Dana Grande has returned to Jordan in the newly created role of grower relations manager, reporting to Maggie. Dana worked in the Jordan Estate vineyards from 1999 to 2012, before moving to Ferrari-Carano Winery to become its grower relations manager—a role that Davis always handled at Jordan. Growing up in Sonoma County, Dana was always intrigued by vineyards even though she didn’t have a family connection to the wine business. While studying biology in college, she was hired to run the vineyard office for Hoot Owl Creek and Alexander Valley Vineyards. At harvest time, she quickly realized that the real action was in the vineyard and learned how to drive a forklift wearing sandals and a sundress. After five years of working in the vineyards, she joined Jordan in 1999 as estate viticulturist and transitioned to vineyard manager during her 13 years with the company. When Jordan sold its first estate vineyard in 2012, continuing a shift toward focusing more on grower fruit, she decided to move to Ferrari-Carano Winery to be grower relations manager—a position that didn’t exist at that time at Jordan. After eight years of working with the Carano family’s grape growers, Dana returned to the Jordan family in February 2020, where she’ll work with Jordan’s cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay growers.