Ask our founding winemaker Randle Johnson, “Why Zinfandel?” and he will tell you, “Because this stuff is awesomely cool.”

A native Californian, Randle Johnson attended the University of California, Davis with the intent of becoming an M.D. but destiny changed his plans. Randle discovered a passion for winemaking and graduated with a M.S. in Viticulture. He honed his art and skill at The Hess Collection, producing award winning Cabernet Sauvignon for 20 years and earning his unofficial title, “The Wine Doctor.”

A true champion of heirloom varietals, those that come from a vine and/or clonal material that has been handed down for generations or hand-selected by growers for a special trait, he began producing Zinfandel and practiced his craft until it truly became an art. With the creation of Artezin, Randle honors the heritage of these grapes, the growers who tend to them, and their place in the history of California winemaking.