“Cliff Lede really focuses on quality and capturing a sense of place in each and every wine.”
Remi Cohen is the Vice President of Operations at Lede Family Wines, encompassing Cliff Lede Vineyards in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley and FEL Wines in the Anderson Valley. In her role, Cohen directs the Cliff Lede Vineyards winemaking process from vineyard to bottle and is responsible for top quality, small-lot winemaking that is expressive of appellation and terroir. In addition, she is a brand ambassador and oversees the distribution of all wines throughout the domestic and international markets.
Born and raised in East Brunswick, New Jersey, Cohen migrated to the West Coast and attended U.C. Berkeley with plans to become a doctor or genetics professor. Upon receiving a degree in molecular and cellular biology, Cohen realized that she preferred plant science and enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at U.C. Davis, where she received her Master’s Degree. Cohen subsequently completed her M.B.A. at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
“My interest in wine and vineyard management was an academic pursuit that developed through my fascination with plant biology,” says Cohen. “For me, wine encapsulates a moment in time and space and expresses both consistency and uniqueness across each vintage and vineyard.”
In 2001, Cohen worked her first harvest at Saintsbury in Carneros. Following that experience, she served as Vineyard Manager at Bouchaine Vineyards for four years, before moving on to Merryvale Vineyards where she oversaw all of the farming, grower relations and direct to consumer programs as Vice President of Operations.
Cohen left Merryvale in 2010 and founded her own viticultural and winemaking consulting company called Vines to Wine. While running Vines to Wine, Cohen was introduced to Cliff Lede through viticulturist David Abreu, Lede’s vineyard architect. The two bonded over a shared a vision for sustainable farming, gentle winemaking practices, and a no-holds-barred focus on producing the highest quality wines, and in 2012, Cohen went to work for Lede Family Wines full-time as Director of Winemaking and Vineyards. In 2014, Cohen was promoted to Vice President of Operations.
“Cliff Lede really focuses on quality and capturing a sense of place in each and every wine,” says Cohen. “Our goal is to maintain a portfolio of wines that are opulent but balanced with great acidity.”
Cohen is an advocate of sustainable farming practices and has hosted lectures on sustainability and winegrowing at venues including U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Davis, Commonwealth Club, Society of Wine Educators, and the American Society of Enology and Viticulture. In addition to writing a column for Vineyard & Winery Management, Cohen is on the board of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and the Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association. She was former President of the Napa Valley Vineyard Technical Group, and is on the scientific review board of the American Vineyard Foundation. Cohen is also a California licensed Pest Control Adviser and a Court of Master Sommelier Certified Sommelier.
Cohen resides in Napa. When she’s not in the vineyard, she enjoys traveling to various wine regions throughout the world, listening to live music, and studying world music and dance.
“Wine is made in the vineyard,” she says. “That’s why a commitment to farming the right way is critical in the process of making great wine.”