Welcome to Diamondback Vineyards. My name is John Quinones. I’m the winemaker, founder, and the last person eager to write about himself. I’ve been encouraged to share my past experience and the many accolades I’ve garnered as a Winemaker, to establish credibility for my brand. I would rather focus on my reason for choosing Southern Oregon, and what really matters to me after making wine for 30+ years.
My reputation and accomplishments were well established during my 22 years in the famed wine regions of Napa and Sonoma. Following graduation from UC Davis, I was fortunate to begin my career as the Asst Winemaker at Lyeth Estate Winery, an early pioneer of Bordeaux-styled wines, recognized around the world as one of Americas top producers. After 4 years at Lyeth, I was presented with another rare opportunity to work with the best-of-the-best….fruit, equipment, and people in the business, as Winemaker for Clos Pegase Winery. I took full advantage of the 7 years I spent with Clos Pegase, and with the seemingly unlimited resources at my disposal, accomplished goals I could only dream of, including having a wine earn recognition as one of the “Top 100 Wines In The World” (one of only 17 wines from America to make the list that year!). Only a select few Winemaker’s will ever have a wine make the list… it is a rare acheivement and it does not happen by accident. It also contributed to the number of high quality clients seeking my services, leading me to start a successful and rewarding Consulting business. My learning curve was accelerated, and I liked that aspect, but started to miss not making wines of my own, and doing it the way I thought was best. I was yearning for something more; that “something more” came via a telephone call in late 2008 from a “head hunter” asking me to interview with a Southern Oregon winery wanting to modernize their farming and Winemaking practices, to reflect what we were doing at the “High-End” in Napa and Sonoma. While declining the offer initially, I was intrigued by the nature of the challenges that would need to be addressed. In 2009 I was contacted again, and decided to take on the most challenging project of my professional career; I accepted the offer from RoxyAnn Winery and jumped in with both feet moving to Southern Oregon. I was determined to use all of my years of winemaking experience, leaning on everything I learned at Davis, drawing from my network of viticulture experts, and see if maybe—just maybe—I could capture the essence of Southern Oregon’s incredible terrior while implementing the highest quality of farming practices to produce wines that showcase this incredible valley. And after my first 2009 vintage release, the prestigious wine raters gave us a big nod, but more important, Owner Jack Day, our wine club members, and many from our wine community, were smiling.
It didn’t take long for me to realize from one successful vintage to the next, that Southern Oregon could grow amazing grapes giving me the opportunity to share my winemaking style. So two years ago, I decided to go back to what I had worked so hard to accomplish in my winemaking career in Napa: I re-launched my brand, Diamondback Vineyards, with a lot of new excitement and a special little twist. What if I told you that I discovered how much I missed having my own brand and bringing Diamondback to Southern Oregon ignited my passion for winemaking all over again? What if I told you that every Diamondback bottle of wine has been made with the style I believe best showcases the grapes and that I sourced the best grapes from a multitude of incredible local farmers? I pulled in unbelievable merlot grapes, stellar chardonnay grapes, and the best Portuguese varietal grapes in our valley. Diamondback Vineyards gives me the ability to make you jaw-dropping wine by not limiting myself to sourcing grapes from one farmer, but from a variety of vineyards that yield the highest quality of grapes available.
If you’re reading this, then chances are you are curious about my Diamondback wines. You might be wondering: How did the “Napa boy” do here in Southern Oregon? Was he able to adjust and thrive in a very different wine region? Has he been able to deliver his trademark style of balanced, fruit driven, full-bodied, luscious textures that take its time delivering a long finish? Well, my Grandfather taught me a very valuable lesson in life: “Don’t tell me what you can do—show me.” In honor of him and all that has culminated in my career as a winemaker, let me show you—and you decide.