A thousand pairs of hands make Hudson Vineyards, Hudson Ranch, and Hudson Wines the diverse farm it is today. A talented group of people, many of whom have worked with the Ranch for 20 years or more, devote their full attention to the vineyards, in need of constant care and maintenance throughout the year. Hudson Vineyards’ winemaking clients, many of whom have relied on the vineyard as a high-quality fruit source since its inception 25 years ago, lend their expertise and advice on how to grow exceptionally fine wines.
The peaceful, bucolic setting of Hudson Ranch belies the energy, intensity and passion of proprietor Robert Lee Hudson. Foresight and extraordinary diligence transformed the land into today’s highly esteemed vineyard. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Lee received his B.S. in Horticulture at the University of Arizona. He then worked with the esteemed Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac, in Morey St. Denis, Burgundy; learning that great grapes from hallowed vineyard sites produce truly world class, fine wines. Lee returned to the States to continue his studies in viticulture and enology at University of California at Davis, where many of his classmates are now his clients. Lee searched for property from Santa Barbara to Mendocino, before deciding on the Carneros property, founding Hudson Vineyards in 1981.
Lee can be reached at LHudson@hudsonvineyards.com
Kelly is the Viticulturalist at Hudson Vineyards. Kelly is responsible for the scheduling and facilitation of most operations at Hudson Vineyards, including labor, vineyard management and client relations, alongside Andres Urena. She’s been here part time since September 2008 and full time since January 2009. Kelly grew up in the East Coast and went to Kenyon College in Ohio and moved to California in early 2005. After a few year stint of managing native plant nurseries in San Francisco, Kelly moved to Napa in January 2008. When not working, she spends much of her time out and about with her dog, Cricket.
You can contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristina is the General Manager of Hudson Ranch. Having been at Hudson since 2001, Kristina is knowledgeable in nearly every aspect of the vineyard and ranch operations. Kristina grew up in Sonoma County and moved to Napa after finishing her master’s degree in Agricultural Business at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. In her free time she enjoys horseback riding, hiking and camping with her husband, Mike, and dog, Sierra. Kristina is one of the best employees to ask if you have any questions about the property. She keeps her three horses, Sonny, J.D. and Levi, on the property and is often exploring the remote corners of the property.
Contact Kristina at email@example.com
Andres is our vineyard manager. We are also proud to declare that he is our longest tenured employee. Born in a small village (only four houses) in Mexico, Jalisco, Andres’ trip to the United States began in 1977. For his first three years in the United States, Andres moved between California, Oregon, Washington and Montana following the cherry harvests. In 1980, Andres moved to Napa and began working for vineyards developing his picking and pruning skills. Soon after, Lee hired Andres on a part time basis. Andres can remember before Hudson Vineyards was developed; no buildings and only two blocks of vineyards. He sharply recalls that when he was hired full time in 1983, Lee was just beginning to build the lake here on the property. Outside of work, Andres spends most of his time with his family. He has a wife and three children and is very lucky that also four of his brothers (including Leonardo who also works for Hudson Vineyards!) and two of his sisters live in the area.
Leonardo followed his brother, Andres’, footsteps and came to the United States in February of 1985 at the age of 17. After living with Andres in Suisun and working both construction and farm laborer jobs, Andres suggested Leonardo come work at Hudson Vineyards for a few days. A few days turned into a few years, now totaling over 20. Leo started in the vineyards where he worked for two and a half years before Lee approached him and offered him a job doing the landscaping and gardening around the property. Leonardo was quick to learn and his talent obvious. He says he hopes to do it for the rest of his life because of the tie it brings him to nature. Around 2000, encouraged by Lee, Leonardo started to grow giant pumpkins in addition to his regular landscaping duties. At first it started as a project for the kids at Halloween and has now turned into a passion for Leonardo. His first pumpkin reached 634 lbs and took 5th place in the Salinas weigh-off. Over the years, Leonardo has begun experimenting and working with other growers to trade seeds and develop his own seed type – the “Urena 991” pumpkin seed. This year, after eight unsuccessful attempts, Leonardo’s dream of winning the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival weigh-off finally came true. Weighing 1,704 lbs, Leonardo’s 2011 entry took first place and set a new record for the largest pumpkin grown in the state California. As a result of this win, and the combined weights of his pumpkins that placed at other weigh-off’s throughout the state, Leonardo was named “Grower of the Year” for 2011 by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth. Leonardo lives here on the property and in his free time he enjoys hiking the property with his wife, Gloria, and three children, Lilliana, Melissa and Leonardo and their dog Browny. He recalls with particular fondness bringing picnics on early spring walks with his family and scrambling up the hillsides to take pictures of wildflowers.
Christopher Vandendriessche was raised in Napa Valley, learning the wine business from his parents, owners of White Rock Vineyards. After completing a BA in Physics from UCSC in 1992 he spent 3 years studying winemaking in France. He worked full time in the wineries while attending classes in Burgundy and Bordeaux, graduating with an Enology degree from the University of Bordeaux in 1996. For the next two years Christopher worked as Assistant Winemaker at Luna Vineyards in Napa. Here he worked under John Kongsgaard making wine for a group of legendary Napa winemakers including, David Ramey, Dan Baron, Bill Knuttel, Marco Capelli, and others. In 1998 he spent a year traveling and working harvest in Spain (at Remelluri in Rioja) and in Mendoza Argentina (Catena). In 1999 Christopher returned home to the family winery to take over winemaking. He continues to run the winery with his brother Michael, the vineyard manager and parents, Claire and Henri.