Who We Are
Who We Are

Michael Bonaccorsi was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1960. By the age of twenty-one, he knew he wanted to be a winemaker. After finishing college, Michael headed to the west coast to be closer to California wine country.

His first job was stocking wine at a wine shop, eventually working his way to become a sommelier. After 3 years of intense study, Bonaccorsi became the twentieth American to be awarded the Master Sommelier Diploma.After working at some of the most prestigious restaurants in San Francisco, Michael became the director of Spago’s wine program. The restaurant has been recognized for its excellence in wine service by the Wine Spectator (Best of Award of Excellence each year since 1995), Food Arts, Wine and Spirits Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.

Jenne Lee Bonaccorsi was born in Seoul, Korea in 1970. At the age of 13, She fell in love with food, watching food shows on PBS such as the frugal gourmet, galloping gourmet and of course, Julia Child. At that young age, she was purchasing Gourmet, mimicking recipes long before even the ingredients were readily available.

While attending USC, Jenne Lee started to work in restaurants; her first job answering phones at Trump’s restaurant, beginning her 20 years in restaurants. From Trump’s restaurant, she opened Watergrill Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, and then to her dream, started the first of 15 years working for Wolfgang Puck from 1993-2008. Jenne Lee was the matre’d at Spago Beverly Hills, which won the James Beard award in hospitality in 2005.

In 1999, Michael and Jenne Lee Bonaccorsi formed the Bonaccorsi Wine Company and set out to produce wine of their own with the love of Burgundy and the Rhone. Since their first vintage in 1999, they continued to strive for improvements not only in winemaking techniques but improve the quality of the best vineyards in the central coast. "Our goal at the beginning was to move from Santa Barbara to the Russian River Valley, but Michael realized that we could produce wine just as good, if not better in the central coast, especially in the new Santa Rita Hills appellation…all this untapped potential."

— J.L. Bonaccorsi

In January 2004, Michael Bonaccorsi suddenly passed away. He left behind a legacy of winemaking, his first wines becoming some of the highest rated syrah in Wine Spectator, and the Pinots the highest rated in 2005. Michael was a true believer that the most important palate was your own, regardless of the person’s credentials. In honor of Michael’s legacy, the Michael Bonaccorsi endowment at UC Davis and the Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship at Alan Hancock College were created to aid in the pursuit of a student’s dream to become a winemaker. Jenne Lee Bonaccorsi continues to make the wines along with her talented assistant winemaker, Martin Arredondo, wines that strive for complexity and concentration, with delicacy.

In 2007, Bonaccorsi was among the 'Magnificent 30' by Wine Spectator, has served their wines at the White House and listed in Karen MacNeil's revised Wine Bible as some of the best Pinot Producers. Jenne Lee Bonaccorsi is also listed in the short list as '...crafting some of the most delicious, enticing wines in the state.' and continues to source the best vineyards in the Central Coast, the ever changing landscape.

Master Sommelier Mike Bonaccorsi has created wines of superb balance and harmony in the first vintages of his career. I always thought that a winemaker with a great store of tasting experience would have an advantage over a purely technically trained enologist. Bonaccorsi is proof of this, and he surely must be proud of his work.