2020 Best Winemaking Supplies: Scott Laboratories’ Jessica Just

Petaluma, Calif.-based Scott Laboratories was founded in 1933, just days prior to the end of Prohibition. Today it offers cellar supplies, harvest and processing equipment, fermentation goods, filtration media and equipment, and packaging products. Earlier this year, Scott Labs was purchased by long-time yeast supplier, Lallemand.

Jessica Just is Scott Labs’ fermentation and enology general manager, focusing on yeast, nutrients, and additives for winemaking. “Customer success is our success,” she says. “We do cool stuff based on real science.”

Just says part of the company’s success is simply the fact that it’s been part of the community for so long. “There’s a seasonality involved,” she says. “We consider how what we have will affect the wine in upcoming years. It’s exciting to be part of a company that pushes things forward.”

The company is dedicated to getting things right and providing what its customers need—sometimes before they even know they need it. “There’s a proliferation of microbiological tools that do things that used to be done with chemicals,” says Just. “A lot happens during fermentation. I’ve been at it 30 years, and it still seems like magic.”

The company has also launched a line of oak barrel alternatives, as well as products for vine production and grape growing. “There’s so much stuff that can be used in the vineyard to improve quality,” Just says, noting she’s also interested in sharing the company’s vast array of knowledge by making it easily accessible to customers (for example, its annual Winemaking Handbook).