Jeff Cichocki

Jeff Cichocki is one of Bonterra’s founding winemaker. Introduced in 1993 as one of the first organically farmed wines in the US, Bonterra's acclaimed varietal wines are exclusively made from 100% certified organic California vineyards. In 2016, the vineyard was named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast, the first-ever awarded to a vintner dedicated to organic farming.

Jeff’s passion has always been toward small family wineries that craft fine wines with an eye towards being good stewards to the environment. He began his winemaking career in the cellar of Mill Creek Winery in Healdsburg, moving quickly to Cellar Master at Matanzas Creek Winery in Bennett Valley. He moved on to Cakebread Cellars in Napa and B.R. Cohn in Sonoma Valley before taking on winemaking duties at Mendocino’s Jeriko Estate Winery in Hopland, a winery, not far from Bonterra’s McNab Ranch, that produces a variety of certified organic wines.

3 words to describe Nature?

Balance. Timeless. Dynamic

3 things Nature taught you?




3 most treasured Nature spots?

My “home” Zinfandel vineyard behind my house, next to the Russian River in Mendocino County.

The Northern California coast

The desert, including the incredible Joshua Tree National Park, where I headed on a recent trip.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Tiny – relative to the vastness of the ocean

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?


When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

In awe. It’s so primordial – I was lucky enough to fly over Hawaii’s active volcano.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Opportunity, with sunrise. Sunset brings closure to the day. They’re bookends, offering us a sense of timeliness or organization somehow – our universal clock.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Excited, I love thunder. As a kid growing up in Ohio, we had lots of summertime thunderstorms - they make me feel nostalgic.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

It makes me wonder if my tree limbs are going to stay put! As a winemaker, I’m a natural weather follower. Wind means change is coming.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

An avid skier, I love the desert and grew up sailing in Southern California. I’m equally drawn to the desert, mountains, and ocean – all three.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10. It’s my livelihood, it’s my passion. Every day I’m reminded that the health of our planet and farming are key. Really, I think anyone involved in the wine industry has a tremendous connection to nature and farming. As a winemaker and viticulturist, one of the main attractions of this industry is its intrinsic connection to the natural world.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Growing up in Anaheim in Southern California, there was a lack of natural phenomena, apart from incredible family trips to remote mountain areas in the winter. I aspired to be a part of something natural, in a far greater capacity, later in life. This drive led me to Northern California, where I’m much closer to the natural environment. Living in wine country, we are inherently tied to nature and keenly aware of our interdependence day in and day out, and from season to season.

Jean-Charles Boisset

Jean-Charles Boisset is a leading producer of luxury wines in France, California and Canada. His parents, Jean-Claude and Claudine, founded the family winery in 1961 with an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in one of the most traditional winegrowing regions in the world.  Today, the family collection includes wineries that share more than 20 centuries of combined winemaking heritage and tradition in some of the world’s most prestigious terroirs, from Burgundy to the South of France, to California’s Napa Valley and Russian River Valley, including Domaine de la Vougeraie, Jean-Claude Boisset, Raymond Vineyards, Buena Vista Winery, DeLoach Vineyards, and many more.

Jean-Charles has expanded from the world of wine and spirits to include a lifestyle vision; he has created namesake collections for jewelry, perfume and the JCB Passion Collection by Baccarat — the first glassware line the historic French crystal company has ever done with a vintner. In addition, the JCB offerings include home accessories that exemplify the JCB world of hospitality and entertaining. As a natural extension of his growing influence in the lifestyle realm, in June 2019 Senses by JCB, a fashion and fragrance boutique and medi-spa debuted in the JCB Village in Yountville. Senses showcases high-profile luxury fashion, accessories and skincare products from around the world, with highlights including a selection of vintage handbags as well as an osmologue machine that enables guests to blend custom scents.

Jean-Charles’ sets forth a vision of the wine and luxury worlds centered on family, passion, history, innovation and a commitment to sustainability. Decanter magazine has included him on its “Power List” of the 50 most important people in the wine world each year of its publication since 2007; in March 2008, he received the Meininger’s International Wine Entrepreneur of the Year; and in December 2008, he was named “Innovator of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast. The French-American Foundation awarded him their first-ever French-American Partnership Award in 2013, bestowed upon an extraordinary individual or organization that has contributed to creating a strong and enduring French-American partnership in business, government or academia. Haute Living named him to the Haute List San Francisco, recognizing the 100 most influential people in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was honored with the 2014 Jefferson Award by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, which celebrates the museum’s historical connection to wine. Also in 2014, JFK University in Concord named Jean-Charles and his wife Gina Gallo its “Entrepreneurs of the Year.” In 2015 Jean-Charles was named an Honorary Co-Chair of that year’s Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, which broke all records by raising a staggering $4.5 million. In March 2017, Jean-Charles and Gina received the Mondavi Food & Wine award Robert Mondavi Wine & Food award by The Collins College of Hospitality Management in honor of their vision and leadership to advance the wine industry. In May 2019 Jean-Charles accepted the Wine Country Business of the Year French American Business Award from the French American Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco.

3 words to describe Nature?

Inspirational. Generous. Beautiful

3 things Nature taught you?




3 most treasured Nature spots?

In the vineyard

On the ocean

In the air

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?


When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?


When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

On fire

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?


When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?


When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?


Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?


On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I have this vivid memory when I was 7 years old. Growing up in France, roaming the vineyard, we were always connected to the land, to nature, and the rhythm of the seasons. I felt the pendulum of life, being in touch with all the forces and the vibrations of the universe. I felt this energy pulling me in, it was magnetic. Winemaking, creating from the earth and nourishing our spirit, is for me a celebration of this memory I felt as a boy.