Lise Asimont started her career in the wine industry while studying anthropology at Saint Mary’s College of California. She devoted a junior thesis to the inner-workings of a small winery in the Russian River Valley. While there, she developed a love for winegrowing and went on to study with the Environmental Horticulture graduate group at the University of California – Davis with a specialization in viticulture. She studied under Dr. M.A. Walker at the University of California, and conducted her master’s research on grapevine rootstock resistance to root-knot nematodes. After graduating from UC – Davis, she was given the opportunity to work in Santa Barbara County for Cambria Winery as an assistant vineyard manager. In 2001, Lise moved to Sonoma County and worked in grower relations for Geyser Peak Winery, where all the vineyards in the entire state of California became her living classroom.
In May of 2006, Lise joined the winemaking team at Francis Ford Coppola Winery and collaborated on the creation of new Sonoma County wine programs and expansion of the California wine programs. As the Director of Grower Relations, and one of three viticulturists on the winemaking team, Lise spearheads the grapegrowing program, sourcing grapes from eight different counties throughout California. She has a keen sense for understanding the character and style of wines and realizes that great wines begin in the vineyards. Her engaging approach in the vineyards is reflected in each wine’s flavor profile and elevated level of quality. Lise works closely with the winery’s network of more than 150 grapegrowers, consulting on everything from pruning practices to harvest techniques, aiding her grapegrower partners in viticultural decisions that will ultimately enhance the individuality of the wine. In addition, Lise is solely responsible for 64 planted acres for the Coppola family, the 19-acre hillside Walking Tree Vineyard and the 20-acre Rose Ranch as well. Under Lise’s guidance, these vineyards are certified sustainable under the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program, and benefit from the winery’s certification as a Bee Friendly Farm and a Fish Friendly Farm — programs that California monitors as part of overall sustainability.
Sharing her valuable knowledge and passion, Lise is a strong voice for the American Society of Viticulture and Enology, serving as the organization’s inaugural vice president. She’s also a member of the Santa Rosa Junior College Shone Farm Viticulture Advisory Board. She lives in Sonoma County with her husband, Shawn, two children, Lily and Cassius, two dogs, one cat and six chickens. Her family spends their free time supporting Lily and Cassius’ sports teams, and enjoying the amazing recreation and agrarian life of western Sonoma County.
September 5, 2014
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance has certified both the Francis Ford Coppola Winery and its vineyards sustainable.