Behind the Wine

Meet Meaghan Hodge

Most winemakers have to start at the bottom to one day make it to the top. 2nd generation winemaker Meaghan Hodge is starting from the top.

Most winemakers have to start at the bottom to one day make it to the top. 2nd generation winemaker Meaghan Hodge is starting from the top.

Meaghan is one of four new winemakers nominated for’s 2019 Rookie of the Year. Cast your vote by following her winemaker page – here.

In the opening moves of her career, this rookie winemaker is pairing up with none other than the biggest name in direct-to-consumer wine –Stephen Millier. 

But to Meaghan, a 2018 enology graduate of Cal Poly, Stephen’s more than just the first U.S. winemaker to join, who’s since become the company’s best-seller and 3-time Winemaker of the Year winner with more than a million worldwide reviews for his exclusive projects.

He’s family.  

As Stephen’s granddaughter and new winemaking collaborator, Meaghan has become the first legacy winemaker at and the youngest to ever make wines for Angels. 

Though relatively fresh out of the enology program at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Meaghan has no shortage of time spent around a winery with Stephen nearby. Born and raised in Calaveras County, she grew up helping out around her grandfather’s winery, where he makes Black Sheep and Milliaire wines. 

For Meaghan’s own line of inaugural wines, she and Stephen will collaborate and focus particularly on the region they both know best.  

As she works with Stephen, perhaps the best mentor possible, Meaghan will source grapes from the Esmeralda Vineyard in Calaveras County, which Stephen has worked with for several vintages. 

Hers will be some of the first single-vineyard wines from Gold Country, an AVA of eastern California that has yet to tap into. 

The company’s “Angels” can expect four initial wines from the grandfather-granddaughter duo.

Making up their Esmeralda Vineyard lineup are a Chardonnay Semillon, Sangiovese, a Meritage red blend and finally a Syrah, both releasing in 2020.

“Thank you to Angels for making this collaboration possible,” Stephen says. “This is a true dream come true.”

For now, Meaghan’s one of several new winemakers currently in the running for’s Rookie of the Year award, which Angels decide based on popular vote.

Meanwhile, Meaghan’s getting as much experience as she can by working her second harvest at Flowers winery out on the Sonoma Coast.

As vintages go on, it’s possible Meaghan may fully follow in Stephen’s steps and launch her own personal brand with Stay tuned…

Follow Meaghan to discover her family’s favorite home-grown wines from Gold Country

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