Kimberlee Nicholls, Winemaker


Kimberlee Nicholls

 Every winemaker has a unique path that leads him or her to the fascinating process of transforming grapes into wine. Some are born into the business, some are captivated by fine wines on trips to France or Italy and others find their way through accidental opportunity. For Kimberlee Nicholls, what seemed like accidental opportunity was interlaced with a background that made her a natural fit for the wine business.

After graduating with a degree in Biology from Willamette University, Kimberlee moved from the small coastal town of Long Beach, Washington, to California. Kimberlee's desire to use her biology degree led her to the position of Laboratory Technician at Napa Valley's Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in 1989. There she began to expand her understanding beyond the chemistry of winemaking. Eventually, attention to detail and strong analytical skills earned Kimberlee the position of Lab Director.

In 1993, Kimberlee came to Markham Vineyards as Enologist to establish an extensive laboratory program and become an integral part of the winemaking team. After four years of hands-on experience in the vineyards and in the winery, she was promoted to Associate Winemaker in 1997. Kimberlee's interest in all facets of the industry, from grape growing to wine blending and lab work, as well as 12 years of experience in California wineries, led to her appointment as Winemaker at Markham Vineyards in November 2001.

Kimberlee is part of a select group of women winemakers in the Napa Valley. Her palate, tasting skills and experience ensure Markham’s consistency and true-to-type varietal expression are evident vintage after vintage.