John Falcone, formerly of Rusack Vineyards, has been named the new director of winemaking and general manager at Gainey Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley. Gainey is a family-owned estate winery and ranching operation that has been a Santa Barbara County name for nearly 30 years. Gainey produces pinot noir and chardonnay from the Sta. Rita Hills and Bordeaux varietals from its estate vineyards.
The family also produces organically grown vegetables, fruits and flowers that are sold at local farmers markets and grocery stores, as well as cattle and hay for various California ranches.
Falcone began his Santa Barbara County winemaking career nearly a decade ago after a 13-year winemaking stint in the Napa Valley. Falcone says he will remain focused on “making wine in the vineyard,” where, he says, “the core of winemaking actually takes place.” With his wife, Helen, Falcone produces his own label, Falcone Family Vineyards, with fruit grown on the family property in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles.
Falcone said he respects how “seriously (owner and famer) Dan Gainey and his crew take their farming and winegrowing. It’s funny: America is the only country that refers to winemakers as, well, winemakers. Everywhere else in the world, you’re a vine grower, a vigneron, if you will. Dan and his team understand the crucial dynamics in the vineyard that lead to what’s in the bottle. When I understood his level of commitment, I knew I wanted to work with him.” While Falcone will supervise all winery operations at Gainey, winemaker Jeff LeBard will continue to manage all winemaking activities and will be assisted in the Bordeaux varieties by consultant Jon Engleskirger.