Joel AIken is a rarecat: a kind man; a smart and experienced winemaker and a guy with a tremendous dry, intelligent wit. Joel's experience is unparrelleled. Joel designed and oversaw construction of a state of the art facility for the production of Beaulieu’s Georges DeLatour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This $7 million facility, completed in 2008 has the most modern equipment available for producing ultra-premium wine including computer controlled fermentation management. Joel has workedclosely with Michel Rolland to evolve the style of the Georges DeLatour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon resulting in 95 point scores from both The Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast in recent vintages. Joel was in charge of modernizing Beaulieu’s Cabernet production in the 1990’s while working with Andre Tchelistcheff. Critical acclaim for the resulting wines was very high and the introduction of Tapestry, a new Cabernet based blend was wildly successful.
Born in Fresno, California, Joel has a Master of Science Degree in Enology as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, both from the University of California at Davis. Joel published two papers from his Master’s research comparing French and American oak barrels for the aging of Cabernet Sauvignon. He resides in St. Helena, California, with his wife, Amy, and two teenage sons.
Joel is a Past President of the Napa Valley Vintners, serving on the board from 2001 – 2006. He chaired the 2004 Premiere Napa Valley Wine Auction. Joel is also a Past President of the Rutherford Dust Society and has been a Member of the Board since it’s inception in 1994. He also was a Member of the Board of the Carneros Wine Alliance in the 1990’s.
Joel has been making wine in Napa Valley for over 30 years. Working with Joel is an honor, he is beloved in Napa Valley for his generousity, acumen and experience.