Linda Trotta

Winemaker & Consultant

Best U.S. Winemakers,  Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences

"Linda Trotta:  A quiet and self-effacing talent who makes bold statements in a wide array of wines."  

Wine Spectator

93 Points:  2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Swiftwater Cellars, Zephyr Ridge, Horse Heaven Hills, WA

Top 100 Wines of 1994 * Ranked #30:  1992 Zinfandel, Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Sonoma Valley

Wine Enthusiast

93 Points /Cellar Selection:  2011 Proprietary Red, Switwater Cellars, Columbia Valley, WA

Top 100 Washington Wines of 2015, Seattle Met Magazine
Top 10 Bordeaux-Style Blends:  2011 Proprietary Red, Swiftwater Cellars, Columbia Valley, WA

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2014
Best of Class / Top Dry Riesling:  2012 Riesling, Swiftwater Cellars, Columbia  Valley, WA

Wine & Spirits Magazine

92 points:  2005 Pinot Noir Gundlach Bundschu, Sonoma Coast

Worlds away from the Burbank, CA garage of her Italian immigrant great-grandparents, when she first witnessed the wonders of winemaking as a child, Linda's career has now spanned continents, appellations and decades.

During her tenure as Director of Winemaking at Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma Valley, a commitment was made to advance the quality and standing of the historic business at all levels.  This years-long process called upon Linda's capacity to uphold the winery's strategic goals, while delving into the myriad tactical details that impact wine quality.  She implemented advances in winemaking techniques and vineyard practices, modernized the production facility and invested time and resources in the development of key winemaking and vineyard personnel. Linda achieved an elevation of wine quality and evolution in style, resulting in expressive, complex wines of balance and refinement.  It was an enriching and rewarding time, during which her touch stone was, and continues to be, these words widely attributed to William A. Foster:


"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives."   


In 2010 Linda began a new chapter in her winemaking journey by bringing her experience and talent to a uniquely positioned start-up winery in the Pacific Northwest.  As Head Winemaker at Swiftwater Cellars in Washington State she crafted wines from select vineyard sites throughout the Columbia Valley and began earning critical acclaim for wines in her first vintages there.

Linda is now very excited to return to California after five rewarding vintages in the Columbia Valley and looks forward to applying her unique perspectives and versatile winemaking skills back where it all started. 

In a role perfectly suited for transitioning back to winemaking and grape growing in Napa and Sonoma, the 2015 growing season saw her focused on assessing nearly 100 vineyard sites throughout Napa Valley and the North Coast for vine health and grape maturity for Delicato Family Vineyards. This included regular interactions with the winemaking team to advise on the status of fruit in the field as well as tasting wines throughout fermentation to evaluate the performance of source vineyards. At the conclusion of harvest Linda's role transitioned to working primarily with the winemaking team, supporting the crafting of wines of multiple tiers and managing their production at multiiple production facilities.


She now makes wine with A W Direct, LLC in Santa Rosa, CA, in what is the most diverse winemaking role of her career:

  • Managing the winemaking operations in an ISO / HAACP certified facility that bottles nearly 1 million cases per year, with lot sizes ranging from 560 to 50,000+ cases.
  • Large scale production that includes blending and finishing wines from throughout California and the globe to meet the needs of the sales-driven portion of the company’s business model.
  • Negociant winemaking for specific clients, ranging from wine clubs to volume retailers.
  • Specialized small lot projects for specific clients such as Epicurious and internal brands including Adler Fels, spanning market categories from “value” to “luxury”.
  • Managing A/P and contract bottling projects to ensure that the client’s needs and quality expectations are met.


Linda also consults on winemaking and grape growing projects in Napa and Sonoma.



Equipped the cellar and instituted winemaking programs and protocols, building the wine portfolio from 4 to 14 products by 2014.  Established relationships with growers at some the the most amazing vineyard sites in the Columbia Valley, including vineyards in Red Mtn, Walla Walla, Horse Heaven, Wahluke Slope and Yakima Valley. 
Very pleased to have the wines well-received beginning with my first vintage, including 90+ scores and a spot on the 2014 Seattle Met list of top 100 WA Wines.
Being a start-up, there are many hats to be worn:
* Wine Bar -- Implemented operating procedures and sales programs, as well as provide training to wine bar staff.
* Distributor Sales -- Managing the winery's Seattle-based distributor by setting and monitoring sales goals, incentive programs, depletion allowances and working the market in support of their efforts.
* Wine Cost Accounting -- Track wine CoG's and provide the winery's accounting firm with detailed cost analyses.
* Inventory Control -- Devised case goods inventory tracking system that interfaces with government compliance reporting needs.