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Raquel Royers, Marketing Manager

The Faces of Clos Du Val: Q&A with Scott Johnson

Welcome to another segment of Behind the Faces of Clos Du Val. This face may be quite familiar to many of you, as he is often in the "front lines" and interacts with our amazing guests on the daily in the tasting room as our Guest Experience Manager.

Scott is the kind of guy who evokes a sense of happiness the moment you see him. Always wearing a beaming smile, he’s the epitome of hospitality. A seasoned vet in the wine industry, Scott is a critical part of the success of Clos Du Val. Always rallying behind his team and his guests, exuding energy and offering up laughs, Scott is someone you most definitely want to know!

Alright, and I now give the stage to Mr. Scott Johnson.

clos du val guest experience manager scott johnson

Photo by Rocco Ceselin

Q&A with Scott Johnson, Guest Experience Manager at Clos Du Val

How long have you been with Clos Du Val?

I’ve been here since March of 2018 so, 15 months.

How did you get started in the wine business?

This is kind of a long story. (He says with a big smile and long laugh) So, growing up in Napa, wine was always a part of my life. I had a couple neighbors who retired and decided to pursue winemaking. I spent many winters with them in their makeshift garage cellars handling different parts of the winemaking process. Come summer I would work with them in the vineyards, which eventually led to some more seasonal gigs with other neighbors. I always had an obsession with the art form of it and how many people it took to get the juice into the glass. For me, it came down to the quality of the experience, and how wine becomes so centric to the dinner table. Ironically, when in school, I was going a much different direction, and was more focused on pursuing wellness, specifically physical therapy. It wasn’t until I came back to Napa that I really developed a deeper respect for the Napa lifestyle. It’s always been a love affair and something I’m really proud of; to connect people from all around the world, all walks of life, together.

What’s your favorite part about your job?

The thing I love most about my job is the opportunity to help create lasting memories for our guests. We’re in a very unique industry where there are so many people involved – from growing, to production, sales, hospitality, marketing, etc., who are all working toward that end vision of passing a glass of wine to a customer and continuing the story.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of being involved with an iconic family owned winery in Napa Valley that has pursued a path to preserve what they have created. Pride really comes into play with being here during this time of renovation.

Who’s your biggest inspiration?

Mom. The way that she looks at life is such an astounding accomplishment. The way she can balance everything and always be there for family and friends, while pursuing an amazing professional career in real estate, yet still always placing value on taking time to step back and appreciate life, usually with a glass of wine.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

When I’m not gardening, reading a book over a cup of coffee or aquascaping, I’m training for triathlons. 

When you’re not working at the winery, what can people find you doing?

Right now, it’s wedding, wedding, wedding. Lot’s of wedding planning with my better half.

Drink of choice?

It’s totally circumstantial. When it comes down to beverages, I am an opportunist.

What’s the wine that created the “ah-ha” moment?

Chateau Chaval Blanc, I want to say it was an '89 or something like that.

If a film was named after you, what would it be called?

The Eternal Optimist, that’s so lame but probably true. (He says with a chuckle)

If I was to go turn on your car, what song would most likely be playing?

It’s probably Creedence Clearwater to be honest. It would be ultra-lame to say a podcast but honestly that’s queued up 90% of the time.

If you stop by Clos Du Val for a tasting be sure to say hello to Scott and embarrass him by mentioning you read this. ;) Until next time on The Faces of Clos Du Val..



Time Posted: Jun 12, 2019 at 3:30 PM
Raquel Royers, Marketing Manager

The Faces of Clos Du Val: Q&A with Lucio Saucedo

There's so much history and storytelling behind a bottle of wine. Some of the most interesting stories are those of the people behind the bottle, the ones working countless hours sorting grapes, racking barrels, stacking cases, working behind a desk or serving guests in the tasting room. We have many people here at Clos Du Val who contribute to our story and who we are as a winery. We'd like to introduce you to a new series where we showcase The Faces of Clos Du Val, as many of them are rarely in the spotlight, but are an integral part of who we are. 

I couldn't be happier to start this series off with one of the most humble people you will ever meet. He's also one of Clos Du Val's longest standing employees. Everyone, please meet Lucio Saucedo.

the faces of clos du val

Q&A with Lucio Saucedo, Cellar & Production Team Member at Clos Du Val

How long have you been with Clos Du Val?

I’ve worked here for 36 years. I first started working at Clos Du Val when I was in my early 20's. It all started in the vineyards, picking grapes, during harvests.

How did you get started in the wine business?

I started working in wine because it’s what was popular in the valley for work. In this area it’s what everyone does, so I thought I would give it a try. I first started in the vineyards and worked there for 5 years, then moved to the cellar and production. I really enjoyed working in the winery, so there I stayed.

What’s your favorite part about your job?

My favorite part is working with barrels; racking them, filling them, the entire process of helping create the wine. I like this because it keeps me busy. I’m always doing something and it’s interesting.

How have you seen the industry change over your time here?

It has grown so much since I started. There are so many new and different methods, ideas and technologies. Before it was much more simple – now it’s so much more involved but is helping to lead to more options and better wine quality.

What are you most proud of?

I am proud that after all these years, I can still adjust to all of the changes. It feels good that I am still here, adapting and finding ways to keep up with the industry. I am proud that I have been around for so long and have experienced so much.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Many people are surprised by my cooking. I enjoy making food for those that I love. Some of my best dishes include ceviche, pickled habanero and I make about seven different salsas.

When you’re not working at the winery, what can people find you doing?

Relaxing. (He says with a laugh) I like to stay home when I’m not working and just relax.

Drink of choice?

I like beer, cervesa. Any beer, I’m not picky.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Frijoles. Beans. You can cook them all different ways and choose from many different types of beans. Yeah, it would be beans.

We finish the interview and you step outside to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?

Pay off my debts and then help out my family and children with whatever they need. I would spend it mostly on my family, that I love. I have a son and daughter with my wife of 28 years.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the first post of our new series. Lucio was such a joy to interview. And I can personally attest to the fact that he is a great cook - he spoils us by bringing his creations in often! His pickled habanero is to die for. 

Until next time on The Faces of Clos Du Val..



Time Posted: Feb 21, 2019 at 9:15 AM
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