As a young man growing up in Louisiana, Don LaBorde never guessed he’d one day become a winemaker crafting world-class wines in Napa and Sonoma. Since his first harvest in 2001 he has done just that. Don put in his time as the enologist for Trefethen Family Vineyards then assistant winemaker at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. He truly found a home when he joined the Duckhorn Portfolio as winemaker for the Decoy brand and then onto Paraduxx Napa Valley.
Don fell in love with the idea of winemaking in 1999 when he relocated to Portland, OR after dropping out of the studio art program at LSU. After an intensive education in Portland’s blossoming micro-brewing industry and Willamette Valley’s amazing boutique wine industry, Don was hooked on everything fermentation. Quickly understanding that the production side of the industry was the only way for him, he enrolled in the Wine Science program at Australia’s Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, NSW.
While working on a number of marketing projects as winemaker for Paraduxx Napa Valley, Don met Christina Tognetti and was enamored with tales of her family’s vineyard and boutique wines. In 2019, Don joined Tognetti Family Winery as consulting winemaker to be a part of the family’s commitment to making top tier wines from their Carneros property that ranks among some of the area’s finest vineyards.