Passalacqua Winery

Our Winemaker

Jessica Boone Bilbro began her winemaking career at Edgewood Estate in St. Helena, under the tutelage of Head Winemaker Jeff Gaffner. It was there she learned how to make elegant, balanced Cabernets that showcased the terroir of each vineyard. As Assistant Winemaker, she also made Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet France and Petite Verdot. From 2003 to 2010, she was the Winemaker at Armida Winery, where she continued to pursue and focus on vineyard designate wines, including multiple Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay designates along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer releases. 

After a brief hiatus to start a family, Jessica is excited to be back making wine. “Nothing holds a candle to the joy (and hard work!) of raising children, but the pursuit of my passion for winemaking could not be ignored. I am thrilled to be a part of the Passalacqua family, and I look forward to continuing their tradition of making exceptional, balanced wines that are true to their terroir.”

In describing her winemaking approach: “I believe in making balanced wines. I believe in letting the vineyard shine through a minimalist approach. I believe in precise attention to detail. Perhaps most importantly, I believe in a hands-on approach to winemaking, and I am proud to be a self-proclaimed cellar rat. In my opinion, the only way to make wine is by getting my hands dirty (or purple). Wine is dynamic and ever evolving, and the best way for me to react and help guide it in the right direction is to be in the cellar witnessing, smelling, and tasting, those changes.”

Steve Matthiasson, consulting winemaker, is a respected viticulture consultant as well as winemaker for his own highly acclaimed label of wines.