Sonoma-Cutrer has announced the retirement of Director of Winemaking Michael “Mick” Schroeter after 13 years in the role.
Current Chardonnay Winemaker Cara Morrison will succeed him in the role of Director of Winemaking.
Morrison is the first female to be named to this position in the 40-plus-year history of the winery.
“It’s been a truly amazing ride and I feel honored and privileged to have served as only the third Director of Winemaking for such an iconic brand over the last 13 years,” says Schroeter. “It goes without saying that I am incredibly proud of the enduring quality and style of Sonoma-Cutrer and the commitment of the amazing team behind all of our wines.”
Schroeter’s career includes time in Australia with the Penfolds Red winemaking team, and 17 years at California’s Geyser Peak winery. He was twice named “Winemaker of the Year” at the London International Wine & Spirit Competition.
Under Schroeter’s leadership, all six of Sonoma-Cutrer’s estate vineyards and grower partner vineyards have earned the Sonoma County Sustainability certification. The wine portfolio grew to include many new wines including rosé, sauvignon blanc, the By-the-Barrel program, and the annual Winemaker’s Release series. He also built a team of dedicated wine professionals, including Morrison and Pinot Noir Winemaker Zidanelia Arcidiacono.
Morrison brings much experience to her new role of Director of Winemaking, having made Sonoma-Cutrer’s Burgundian-style Chardonnay since 2005. She has held previous winemaking roles within Brown-Forman at Fetzer and Jekel Vineyards.
“I am elated to have the opportunity to take on this role and new responsibilities,” says Morrison. “We have a fantastic team here and I am so excited to continue working with them to create world-class wines. It is truly a dream come true.”
With Morrison moving to the Director of Winemaking position, Arcidiacono will be promoted to the newly created role of Sonoma-Cutrer Senior Winemaker. In this role, she will oversee chardonnay winemaking as well as pinot noir. Arcidiacono started her U.S. Winemaking career in 2007 at Sonoma-Cutrer as a Harvest Enologist before joining the Fetzer Winemaking team in the same position. She returned to Sonoma-Cutrer as Assistant Pinot Winemaker in 2015 and was named Pinot Noir Winemaker in 2018.
In company news this follows the recent release of the Sonoma-Cutrer 2022 Rosé of Pinot Noir.