John Williams was raised in western New York and spent the summers on his grandparents’ dairy farm. Following graduation from high school, he received a scholarship to attended Cornell University where he planned to study fermentation sciences in order to pursue a career in the dairy industry. While studying cheese making under the great Frank Kozokowski, Williams accepted a workstudy position with the Taylor Wine Company and the rest—as they say—is history. After receiving his degree from Cornell University in 1975, John was accepted into the Enology and Viticulture Masters Program at UC-Davis. Upon graduating, Williams returned to upstate New York as winemaker for Glenora Wine Cellars producing several award-winning wines before returning to California in 1980 to assume winemaking duties at Spring Mountain Vineyards in the Napa Valley. In 1981 Williams co-founded Frog’s Leap winery along with partner Larry Turley. He became the sole owner in 1994, moving the winery to its current location on the Rutherford Bench in the Napa Valley. Under Williams’ guidance, Frog’s Leap has evolved as a provocative model of a successful, sustainable family farm. Williams’ passion for protecting and preserving a healthy agricultural way of life led to the establishment of the Rutherford River Restoration Project and he and the winery team he has assembled are widely recognized for their contributions to the organic farming movement, the promotion of alternative energy sources, and ongoing efforts to encourage sustainable business practices.


The Role of Biodiversity in Vines in a Changing Climate