MEET OUR PEOPLE


Dan Panella

Oak Farm Vineyards / Owner & Director of Winemaking

HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY BEEN FARMING WINEGRAPES?
My family has been farming in Lodi since the 1920s. I’ve been farming since 2004.

HOW MANY ACRES DO YOU FARM AND WHICH VARIETIES DO YOU GROW?
We farm 70 acres planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño, Fiano, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot, Sangiovese, Barbera, Zinfandel, Primitivo, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.

WHAT IS ONE ASPECT OF YOUR CAREER WHICH MIGHT SURPRISE PEOPLE?
The amount of travel which is involved. So much of my job is spent pouring our wines for potential new accounts all over the world. I did not realize that before I got started.

HOW HAS THE LODI WINE REGION CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
In terms of offerings (food, drinks, experiences), Lodi continues to up its game; to elevate. That said, there’s always more that we can offer. I’m seeing great things on the  There's always more to offer, but I see good things on the horizon.

WHO HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MENTOR IN YOUR CAREER?
My winemaking mentor, Chad Joseph. As much theory as I learned from my professors at UC Davis, it was the practical, hands-on guidance from Chad that made all the difference.

WHAT ITEMS ARE CURRENTLY IN THE CENTER CONSOLE OR GLOVEBOX OF YOUR TRUCK OR CAR?
An extra pair of sunglasses and a few business cards – that’s pretty much it. My center console is almost entirely empty.

 

Dan Panella