Our Story

Ramey Wine Cellars directly influenced 21st century winemaking and set a new standard for what California could achieve. Success in launching the family’s namesake winery was not preordained. Starting from humble origins, through intellectual leadership and hands-on experience, Ramey has risen to be considered one of the iconic wineries of California.

David and Carla Ramey founded the winery in 1996 and forged a new California winemaking style that paired old-world techniques with the premier fruit of Sonoma and Napa. The Ramey family has long excelled at collaborating with other multigenerational winegrowers to make single vineyard wines as well as blends that showcase the defining characteristics of their sites. The second generation, Claire and Alan Ramey, began working at the winery in 2013 and have been cross-trained in all aspects of winery operations. In 2021, Claire and Alan became co-presidents of Ramey Wine Cellars. The vision is unwavering: to make classic wines from Sonoma and Napa that belong amongst the world’s best.

David Ramey


David Ramey is among a distinguished group of pioneering American vintners who revolutionized modern-day winemaking and elevated California to the forefront of the international wine community. Hailed as “Professor Chardonnay” by Wine Spectator, David’s efforts have helped shape the way many wines in the United States are made today. He is steeped in the classical Bordeaux traditions of crafting age-worthy wines, having worked in Bordeaux twice. Some of his contributions to modern-day winemaking include pioneering whole-cluster pressing of white grapes; the use of oxidized juice in white winemaking; sur lies aging of white wines in barrel; malolactic fermentation of Chardonnay; native yeast fermentations; and bottling without filtration. He has been making wine since the 1970s.

Carla Ramey

Founder & CFO

Since co-founding Ramey Wine Cellars in 1996, Carla has managed the business operations and rise of a premier American winery. She serves as CFO and collaborates daily across operations, sales, and marketing. Ramey would not be a successful, multigenerational business without Carla’s leadership. With tenacity and grit, she has helped build Ramey Wine Cellars into what it is today, with wines sold around the world.

Claire Ramey


Claire serves as Co-President and co-owner of Ramey Wine Cellars. Leading viticultural operations, she is responsible for Ramey’s estate vineyard, Westside Farms, as well as managing the viticultural directives for our winegrowing partners. She has been trained in all aspects of the industry, from business to craft, and has apprenticed with one of California’s top viticulturists.

Alan Ramey


Alan is Co-President and co-owner of Ramey Wine Cellars. Alan has been trained in all aspects of the winery, from cellar work and winemaking to business. Alan has completed harvest internships at Veramonte in Chile and Domaine Méo-Camuzet in Burgundy and competed on the blind tasting team for the University of Cambridge. He currently serves on the Board of the California Wine Institute.

Winemaking Braintrust

A spirit of constant questioning and experimentation continue to guide our winemaking philosophy. David Ramey began his career at Simi under the mentorship of Zelma Long, who is another American wine pioneer with winemaking lineage to Robert Mondavi. Together, David and Zelma collaborated on research in whole-cluster pressing, lees contact, and cooler fermentations that would create a benchmark Chardonnay style now emulated by many.

In his time at the Moueix organization in Bordeaux, which included a stint at Château Pétrus, David learned from legendary winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet. Jean-Claude in turn had learned from Émile Peynaud, who revolutionized quality in modern winemaking. David has passed this traditional knowledge down to the winemaking team and his children.

Cameron Frey

President of Winemaking

Cameron was the first Ramey Wine Cellars employee, and for over 20 years, has been integral to establishing Ramey as a worldwide leader in fine wine. He graduated from CSU Fresno with a B.S. in Enology and Chemistry in 1991. Cameron began his career with Robert Mondavi Winery and then Gallo of Sonoma where he learned the operations and science of winemaking. Then, after working as harvest winemaker at Casa Girelli Winery in Puglia, Italy, he joined Ramey Wine Cellars in 2002. He is a master winemaker in his own right.

Lydia Cummins


Lydia’s winemaking experience is critical to furthering the Ramey legacy of experimentation and innovation. She completed her degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis in 2005. Lydia has worked at Williams Selyem and Kosta Browne. From her experiences in fine wine, she understands the viticultural and phenolic attributes of top vineyards in Russian River Valley. In 2008, Lydia joined Ramey Wine Cellars as Enologist, and was quickly promoted to Associate Winemaker.

Our Team

We are a purpose-driven company, and the vision of making classic wines that can stand amongst the best in the world permeates every aspect of the winery. With some employees staying over 20 years, we feel very lucky to have the support of such a talented and supportive team.

Timeline Section

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