Interview with Winemaker Jennifer Higgins

I had the pleasure of interviewing Winemaker Jennifer Higgins of Lambert Bridge winery in Healdsburg. Jennifer is their VP of winemaking and vineyards and an absolute superstar. I love getting to interview these amazing women in the wine industry who have so much knowledge and passion for their craft. Check out more interviews on the blog here.

Jennifer Higgins Interview
Was there a moment that you remember when you knew that you wanted to be a winemaker?

It was meeting Zelma Long while I was working in the tasting room at Simi Winery. She walked in, saw a new face (mine) and kindly introduced herself. They say you have to see it to be it and in meeting her, she opened the door to my winemaking career.

What was your first wine job?

I was hired by a friend as a part-time tasting room employee for the summer at Simi Winery in Healdsburg. It was supposed to be an interim job between returning home from Italy and going to medical school. It didn’t quite work out that way!

As a winemaker you taste (and spit) lots of wine, what wine do you feel bad about spitting because you love it so much?

I never spit out Chateau Y’quem. It’s too special a wine.

What was one of the biggest mistakes you have made in your winemaking career?

Nothing comes to mind and don’t get me wrong, I have made plenty of mistakes but if you are paying attention, they also become the greatest learning experiences.

Jennifer Higgins Interview

Who has been the most influential mentor in your career?

I’ve worked with some great people. Zelma Long, David Ramey, Helen Turley but I’d have to say that Jill Davis, who took a chance and gave me my very first production job in the lab, was the teacher that taught me all the important basics of winemaking

What is something you’d like to share about Dry Creek Wines that many consumers may not know, or have a misconception about?

It’s not all about Zinfandel. There is some really great Cabernet Sauvignon being grown around the valley. One of my favorite Cab vineyards of my entire career is an old vine planting on the Eastern bench.

You make still and sparkling wines. Can you share more about the winemaking process for sparkling and the big differences in winemaking vs. still wines?

Sparkling is an entirely different wine for a reason. The picking decisions, the wine chemistry, the careful and long pressing of the grapes and the overall process is very different from making a still wine.

Jennifer Higgins Interview

What is your favorite after-work drink?

A good gin martini in the summer and a rye Manhattan in the winter, two cherries please!

What is your favorite local spot in Healdsburg?

Lately, it’s been at the counter at Asahi Sushi on Healdsburg Avenue. So good!

Tell us something that would surprise people about you.

I hardly ever swear and I’m a great backer-upper.

A special thanks to Winemaker Jennifer Higgins for sharing her history and love of wine with me and my readers. It’s been wonderful getting to know her over the years!

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