Riverbench Vineyard and Winery Introducing a New Winemaker


Riverbench Vineyard and Winery is pleased to announce its new winemaker: Clarissa Nagy.

Nagy has worked in the wine industry for the past 17 years. She has made a name for herself and is praised for her elegant and sophisticated winemaking style, as well as an appreciation for the fruit that comes out of the Santa Maria Valley.

“I am drawn to the attention to detail and quality at Riverbench the vineyards are meticulously kept,” says Nagy. “Riverbench has the wonderful combination of vine age for the original plantings and clonal variations in the new plantings. I really enjoy seeing how each vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley is unique. I look forward to getting my hands on the fruit!”

Nagy follows in the footsteps ofChuck Ortman, a pioneer in the wine industry who announced his retirement at the end of the 2011 vintage. For the past six vintages, Ortman crafted stunning Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs for Riverbench.

Nagy received a degree in Food Science from California Polytechnic State University. She began her career in the wine industry in 1994 as a lab technician at Edna Valley Vineyards in San Luis Obispo. She moved through the roles of research assistant winemaker at Byron Winery in Los Olivos; assistant winemaker and vineyard supervisor at Longoria Winery, also in Los Olivos; and has been making wine for Bonaccorsi Wine Company since 2006.

“We are truly thrilled about this evolution in winemaking for Riverbench,” says General Manager,Laura Mohseni.”When it came to finding Chuck’s replacement, Clarissa was the natural choice.Her professional and approachable demeanor and stellar winemaking style will fit in perfectly here.”

Posted by Ann Chen

Edited by Melanie Figueroa