Owner / Winemaker
Born in Duncan, British Columbia, and growing up in the Vancouver area, Jason is excited to have found himself knee deep in the California wine industry. With a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, and a construction management background, Jason has put his skills and energy to use in RIVINO – his family’s Mendocino County boutique winery.
While working in the Ukiah area in 2003, Jason met Suzanne at a Mendocino County wine tasting event. They got married a few years later in Whistler, Canada. There was much talk of starting a small winery, and it finally became a reality in 2008.
When not winemaking, marketing, or expanding the winery, Jason enjoys flying, skiing and traveling. His enjoyment of great food and cooking has led to an ever expanding garden.
Suzanne was born in London, England and grew up in Vancouver, Canada. She attended the University of British Columbia, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. After university she set her sights on flying, and secured her private, commercial, and IFR ratings. With those in place she worked as a bush pilot in Canada’s great white north. She lived in Whistler, B.C., and Houston, Texas, before eventually moving to Ukiah, CA in the mid-90s. In 2008 she and Jason founded RIVINO.
Suzanne’s other pastimes include traveling, cooking, and skiing. She also enjoys musicals and going to the opera, where she can compare her personal piano skills to those of the professionals.
Born in Bandon, Oregon, Benny quickly realized his love for jackrabbits… and where better to find those than in the vineyards of Northern California. So, he made the journey to Ukiah where he became a new member of the family in 2007. Being a full blooded Beagle, he quickly adapted to his new role of RIVINO, Quality Control. From the moment he arrived he has been sampling any and every grape that he can sniff out in the vineyard. With his nose to the ground he ensures that all rogue grapes, jackrabbits and pond turtles are kept in check. With an undistractable nose, and a sharp eye for all things ground level, Benny is an invaluable winery asset.
We’re boutique and focused. From the day harvest begins to the day bottling is complete, we ensure both the grapes and juice are handled in the gentlest, most minimal manner possible. As we ramp up to harvest, we start exploring the vineyard to select those sections that have a truly special character – and focus on those grapes daily to make sure we harvest at exactly the right moment. We pick at daybreak, and their journey is short (sometimes just a few hundred feet) to our winery. Then the great transformation begins!
This photo is our very first bin of viognier from the 2008 vintage – the year it all began!
The family purchased Shrader Ranch in 1993. At the time the majority of the 250 acre ranch was planted with pears. Over the next several years the property was replanted with grape vines. The vineyard now has 7 different grape varietals: Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Pinot Blanc, Syrah, and Sangiovese.