Winemaker Emeritus


Michael Weis, with celebrated 20-year tenure as Groth’s renowned winemaker, has stepped into the position of Winemaker Emeritus at Groth Vineyards & Winery.  Michael is working hand-in-glove with Director of Winegrowing Cameron Parry to pass the torch over the coming years, ensuring Groth wines have the gentle continuity that we’ve staked our reputation on.

Michael built upon the triumphs of the Groth family whose early successes included having their Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon rated the first California wine with a perfect 100-point score by Robert Parker, Jr.  In fact it was Michael’s vast experience in Oakville that drove the decision to replant blocks of Oakville vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon in 1999 and 2000.   Michael was instrumental in the careful redesigning and replanting of the Reserve Block of the Oakville Vineyard.  Select rootstocks, clones and trellising technique decisions were made by Weis, resulting in a successful re-launching of the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with the 2005 vintage.   

In 1996 he guided the Groth family to focus Chardonnay growing in their Hillview Vineyard, leading to a vineyard designate wine. Weis oversaw the design and construction of the winery expansion completed in 2007.  This expansion included: a dedicated Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon cellar, improved barrel cellar, new fermentation tank room, presses and sorting tables, taking the winemaking techniques to the next level.

Michael’s winemaking philosophy is simple.  Be true to varietal integrity.  Minimize manipulation through gentle handling.  Express the character of the vineyard location.  Take full advantage of years and years of experience working with the same vineyard sites.  Make the best wine that a vintage has to offer from great vineyard sources.  Strive to make better wine every year.  Always searching for techniques that can help show off Groth’s exceptional fruit, Michael conducts experiments every year on small batches of grapes and wine, fine-tuning wines with an already established pedigree. 

Michael holds a Master’s Degree from UC Davis, after graduate studies at Davis; he worked as an experimental enologist for Robert Mondavi and as winemaker for Vichon before joining Groth in 1994.
There’s more to life than wine, and in Michael’s case, there’s Bocce—not just a form of recreation, but an addiction.  Michael’s team, The Quatro Stupidos, is made up of winemakers, label printers, grape growers and wine equipment salesmen.  He has not given up hope that Dennis and Judy Groth will someday let him install that Bocce court.