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 by the best marketing people in the wine industry to share my experience and accolades as a winemaker to sell my brand. But instead of all that, let me begin with how I came to Southern Oregon and what really matters to me after 30+ years of making wine.
My career and accomplishments were well established in the storied wine regions of Napa and Sonoma. Following graduation at UC Davis, I began 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 went on to become the Winemaker for Clos Pegase, and was afforded another rare opportunity to work with the best-of-the-best fruit, equipment, and people, in the industry. I reached the goals I had dreamed of after 22 year, and yet I yearned for something more; that “something more” came via a telephone call in late 2008 from a “head hunter” asking me to interview for a Southern Oregon winery wanting to modernize their farming techniques and Winemaking program. After a lot of soul searching, in 2009 I decided to embark on one of the most challenging prospects of my professional career; I accepted the offer from RoxyAnn Winery and jumped in with both feet (and it wasn’t grape stomping time yet), determined to see if I could use all of my years of winemaking experience, lean on everything I learned at Davis, draw 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.