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Our Story
a pioneering vision

Storied Past, Bold Future

“Carrying on the traditions of an iconic winery, while helping to chart its course forward, is an undertaking I try to approach with respect, thoughtfulness and vision.”

heidi bridenhagen
Meet the Team
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Heidi Bridenhagen

In 2013, at the age of 29, rising star Heidi Bridenhagen was named just the third winemaker in the storied history of MacRostie Winery and Vineyards. Heidi quickly set out to build on MacRostie’s reputation as one of California’s most revered producers of cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. “Carrying on the traditions of an iconic winery, while helping to chart the course for its future, is an undertaking that requires respect, thoughtfulness and vision,” says Heidi. “When I was named winemaker, I embraced the opportunity both to learn and lead. Like Steve MacRostie, who I am proud to call a friend and mentor, I strive to bring inquisitiveness, and an absolute attention to the details that are essential for great winemaking to my role.”

Heidi immediately worked to establish one of the Sonoma Coast’s most acclaimed vineyard programs, including sites farmed by legendary winegrowers like the Duttons, Sangiacomos and Martinellis. She also completely reimagined MacRostie’s Pinot Noir program, helping to design a new small-lot Pinot Noir winery that has elevated MacRostie’s Pinots to the world-class levels of its iconic Chardonnays. To achieve this, Heidi switched to small 1-ton fermentation bins, and does as many as 130 fermentations every vintage to preserve the character of each lot. Heidi also launched the winery’s acclaimed sparkling wine program, and established Clockwise, where Heidi and her team can apply the techniques and traditions of MacRostie to new wine regions and varietals, including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.

“At MacRostie, I’ve found a winemaking home that embraces my desire to innovate. I am constantly running numerous small-lot trials in areas that include extraction levels, whole clusters, tannin management, cold soak durations, yeast strains, barrel versus tank fermentation, and more.” Heidi is equally active in the vineyards, working with MacRostie’s grower partners to tailor farming techniques, including pruning, fruit drops and harvest decisions for each block.

Since Heidi was named winemaker, MacRostie has been recognized for making many of the finest wines in its history, and has earned more than 365+ scores of 90 points or higher from major publications, while also being honored by San Francisco Magazine as “Best Overall Winery” in the 2017 Best of Wine Country Awards. In addition, Heidi spearheads MacRostie’s sustainability efforts, establishing it as one of less than 150 wineries in California (out of more than 5,000) to hold the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing accreditation.

Heidi’s approach to winemaking is shaped by her unique background, which includes earning a degree in biochemistry, traveling throughout the wine regions of France, Italy, Spain and Germany, working in the cellar at Oyster Bay in New Zealand, and honing her craft alongside renowned winemakers Mick Schroeter and Cara Morrison at Sonoma-Cutrer. Prior to being named winemaker, Heidi spent two years as MacRostie’s assistant winemaker, where she worked side-by-side with Founder Steve MacRostie. This diversity of experience has played a pivotal role in creating MacRostie’s expanded lineup of vineyard-designate Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. While these wines are deeply rooted in the vineyards they come from, they also reflect MacRostie’s signature style, offering beautiful balance, vibrant flavors and impeccable structure.

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Steve MacRostie

In 1974 – when there were only about 40 small wineries in Sonoma County – Steve MacRostie made his first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the region that would ultimately be named the Sonoma Coast. Today, there are hundreds of wineries here, and the Sonoma Coast has become one of the world’s great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

With his relaxed charm, philosophical mind, adventurous spirit, and encyclopedic knowledge of Sonoma County viticulture and winemaking, Steve is recognized as one of the region’s great pioneers, strongest advocates, and most respected winemakers.

Raised in Sacramento, California, Steve was educated at Washington’s Whitman College, then served in the U.S. Army as a cryptographer deployed to the Veneto region of Italy. While in Europe, Steve’s travels took him to France, Germany, and Spain, where European wines sparked a lifelong passion. Steve returned to the states and enrolled in the prestigious UC Davis enology program.

At a time when eager young winemakers were establishing their credentials in Napa Valley, Steve settled in Sonoma County, spending 12 years at Hacienda winery honing his craft and earning the reputation as a gifted winemaker. Alongside his wife Thale, Steve founded MacRostie Winery & Vineyards in 1987, where he pioneered a fresh, elegant style rooted in the cool vineyards of Sonoma County. The relationships he built with local growers during this time have lasted for decades.

Steve established Wildcat Mountain Vineyard in the Petaluma Gap in 1997, and fruit from this estate vineyard joins that grown by legendary Sonoma County winegrowing families like the Duttons, Sangiacomos, Ritchies, Martinellis, and Bacigalupis, to name a few.

Steve continues an active role at the winery, working alongside Winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen in the cellar and working in the vineyards with the many growers who partner with the winery.

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Assistant Winemaker

Carolina Guerra

In January of 2023, Carolina Guerra’s long-held dream of becoming a winemaker became a reality when she was named the assistant winemaker here at MacRostie by her mentor, Winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen. For Carolina, it has been an interesting journey to reach this point in her career. A native of Franca-São Paulo, Brazil with a degree in Food Engineering, Carolina’s passion for wine has taken her around the world several times. She honed her craft in Australia’s Yarra Valley and in California at Kendall-Jackson, La Crema, and Sonoma-Cutrer, where she had the opportunity to work alongside acclaimed Winemaker Cara Morrison, who also mentored Heidi early in her career.

“I have been fortunate to learn from some amazing women winemakers. That shared knowledge and experience has been invaluable. It has shown me a path in the industry.” For Carolina, MacRostie is a dream job. “I love it here. Heidi is an amazing winemaker with an intimate, sensory-driven approach to winemaking. She has been a wonderful mentor. Working by her side, I am constantly challenged, and I learn something new every day.”

At MacRostie, Carolina works alongside Heidi throughout every stage of the winemaking process from the first fermentation to blending and bottling. “Making wine is a beautiful thing. I love it. There is so much going on at any given moment, and every year is different. Everything is on a one-year cycle, but every year is unique. There is always something new to learn.”

Carolina is dedicated to continuing to learn and grow, which is why she is augmenting her experience by working towards her Winemaking Certificate through UC Davis. She is particularly excited about her Viticulture for Winemakers classes. “Vineyard practices and sourcing the finest quality grapes is so important. It is at the heart of what we do here at MacRostie.”

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Grower Relations Manager & Viticulturist

Taylor Abudi

Though born in California, Taylor was raised near Portland, Oregon, where she would take regular trips with her family to wine country in the Willamette Valley. With an interest in science and a deep love of the outdoors, Taylor went on to earn a degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis. During university, Taylor gained invaluable hands-on experience at Rajat Parr’s Evening Land Winery, where she was mentored by acclaimed Winemaker Isabelle Meunier. After working at Vavasour Wines and St. Supery in California, Taylor traveled to New Zealand and Australia to work southern hemisphere harvests, and then to Bordeaux, where she lived and worked at Chateau Le Grand Verdus. “Up until Bordeaux, I was following a winemaker’s path. But at Chateau Le Grand Verdus there was so much emphasis on the vineyards and the soil that it changed my perspective. I realized my passion was growing grapes and that viticulture was every bit as important to the final wines as the winemaking.”

Returning to California, Taylor embraced her new career path, spending four years in grower relations at the Boissett Collection, where she worked with upwards of 100 vineyards, and later at the Hess Collection, where she was the grower relations manager overseeing nearly 50 properties. Shortly after the birth of her first daughter, Taylor joined MacRostie in 2022. “I live in Sonoma County with my family, and it’s where my heart is. It’s also the perfect place to grow my two favorite grapes—Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—so when I had the opportunity to join MacRostie, I was thrilled.”

At MacRostie, Taylor manages every aspect of the farming at our two estate vineyards, while also overseeing relationships with close to 50 Vineyard Partners for both MacRostie and Clockwise. “From the beginning of the year when we do our grape sourcing plan to the final picking decisions at each site, Heidi and I work closely and collaboratively.” While her experience as a woman in the wine industry has been very positive, Taylor takes pride in being part of a Women-Led Winery.

Back to Our Roots
Steve MacRostie makes his first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using grapes from areas that would today include the Sonoma Coast. slider image
Steve founds MacRostie Winery and Vineyards, paving the way for the Sonoma Coast to become one of the world’s great regions for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. slider image
MacRostie Chardonnay is first served at the White House. slider image
Steve establishes Wildcat Mountain Vineyard on the western border of Carneros and the Petaluma Gap. Though Wildcat exists on the extreme edge of cool-climate viticulture, it has proven ideal for growing grapes that produce profound, complex and elegant wines.  slider image
MacRostie earns the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing accreditation (CCSW). Recognized as the gold standard of sustainability certification in California, MacRostie is one of less than 150 wineries in California (out of more than 5,000) to hold the distinction. slider image
At the age of 29, Heidi Bridenhagen is named just the third winemaker in MacRostie’s 30-year history. Since then, MacRostie has been recognized for making many of the finest wines in its history, and has earned more than 300 scores of 90 points or higher from major publications. slider image
MacRostie unveils its new state-of-the-art Pinot-focused winery and MacRostie Estate House on Westside Road in the Russian River Valley. slider image
Awarded “Best Overall Winery” & “Best Tasting Room” in Sonoma in San Francisco Magazine’s Best of Wine Country Awards. slider image
Steve receives the “Sonoma County Icon” lifetime achievement award from the Sonoma County Vintners Association. slider image
our vineyards
Thale’s Vineyard explore

This 14-acre Pinot Noir vineyard on Westside Road is the home of the MacRostie Estate House tasting room and winery. Beginning in 2013, this exceptional young vineyard began producing some of MacRostie’s finest lots of Pinot Noir, and has become a cornerstone of our vineyard program.

our vineyards
Nightwing Vineyardexplore

The cool-climate vineyard is located at the mountainous eastern edge of the Petaluma Gap AVA and features some of the highest planted elevations in the region, reaching heights of 1,400 feet. Nightwing Vineyard was developed in 2017 and planted the following year as a mosaic of 35 blocks featuring 44 acres of Pinot Noir and 30 acres of Chardonnay.

our vineyards
Wildcat Mountain explore

Located on the edge of the cool Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast, this sustainably-certified Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyard possesses an ideal mountain terroir and remarkable volcanic soils that consistently produce fruit with intensity and depth of flavor. 

our vineyards
Dutton Ranch explore

Recognized as one of the most important families in Sonoma County viticulture, the Duttons have been in the Russian River Valley and Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVAs since the late 1800s, and represent one of the strongest traditions in sustainable farming for the production of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

our vineyards
Sangiacomo Vineyard explore

This family-owned vineyard is located along Sonoma Creek, and has Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines planted between 1974 and 1994. The Sangiacomos, who helped pioneer Sonoma County viticulture, are renowned for the exceptional quality of their grapes, and have contributed to every year of our wine program since 1987.

Our Vineyards

map of the sonoma coast
MacRostie Winery Estate House