Icons and Innovators Recognized for their Leadership and Contributions


SANTA ROSA, Calif. (May 18, 2020) – Sonoma County Vintners announces the 2020 Sonoma County Barrel Auction Icons and Innovator. Steve MacRostie and Marcello Monticelli are the honorary icons of 2020 who helped shape the heritage and history of Sonoma County. Jordan Kivelstadt is the 2020 innovator of the year for his forward-thinking, industry-leading practices.

“It is an honor to celebrate the Icons and Innovators of the Sonoma County Barrel Auction,” says Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director Michael Haney. “These remarkable individuals within our community have made an incredible impact on this place we call home. Sharing their monumental roles in making Sonoma County what it is today continues to showcase the best of Sonoma County. We salute these vintners who have demonstrated exemplary leadership!”

Each year Sonoma County Vintners looks to the wine community for nominations of individuals for this prestigious Icon and Innovator designation, a tradition for the Sonoma County Barrel Auction. These nominations are presented to a committee for selection.

Each of these selected Icons and Innovators is showcasing extraordinary lots in the online Sonoma County Barrel Auction.


Steve MacRostie, Proprietor of MacRostie Winery & Vineyards

Steve MacRostie started making wine in 1974 in Sonoma County when only 40 small wineries existed. He is recognized as one of the region’s great pioneers, strongest advocates and most respected winemakers. He worked with other leaders to establish Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance and served as president for the Carneros Wine Alliance.

In 1987, he founded MacRostie Winery & Vineyards where he developed a fresh, elegant style that showed its roots in the cool vineyards of Sonoma County. This style has played a pivotal role in helping to differentiate Sonoma County from other wine regions. MacRostie established the Sonoma Coast AVA Wildcat Mountain Vineyard in 1998. He opened the MacRostie Estate House in 2015 setting a new standard for hospitality in Sonoma. Now, he works alongside MacRostie’s acclaimed winemaker, Heidi Bridenhagen, challenging and inspiring each other to make more than 20 single-vineyard wines. He currently serves as a Regional Director for Sonoma County at the Wine Institute, advocating on behalf of the region he loves.

MacRostie’s Lot#62 MacRostie Winery “The Power of Three” is a 2019 Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley, Petaluma Gap and Sonoma Coast

Marcello Monticelli, Master Winemaker and Vice President of North Coast Winemaking of E. & J. Gallo Winery

Born in Tuscany, Italy, to a family of vintners, Marcello Monticelli has been around the romantic culture of wine for his entire life. He contributed to his family legacy in Madera, eventually graduating Magna Cum Laude with an Enology degree from Fresno State University with minors in Viticulture, Chemistry and Physics. His winemaking career began at Gallo in September 1970 under the guidance of E. & J. Gallo Winery Co-founder, Julio Gallo.

In 1989, Monticelli took on the responsibility of coastal winemaking. Working closely with Gina and Matt Gallo, he developed Gallo Estate and Gallo single vineyard wines. His direction, skill and creativity paved the way to the creation of an award-winning portfolio of wines from Sonoma County. Today, he is a Master Winemaker and Vice President of North Coast Winemaking for Gallo continuing a legacy of winemaking excellence while showcasing world-class wines of Sonoma County.

Monticelli’s Lot#20 Gallo Signature Series “Thank you, Sonoma” is a 2018 Bordeaux Blend from Sonoma Valley

Jordan Kivelstadt, Proprietor of Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Garden & Eatery, Co-Founder EG Wines and Founder of Free Flow Wines

In 2007 Jordan Kivelstadt established Kivelstadt Cellars which is one of the leading “new” California wineries and he plans to open Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Garden & Eatery, the state’s first Wine Garden, in 2020. After founding Free Flow Wines in 2009, he quickly became known as a champion for alternative packaging. Free Flow Wines pioneered industry-leading practices in wastewater management, wine kegging and canning and reverse asset logistics. Free Flow has helped reduce packaging waste by more than 40,000,000 pounds over the last 10 years.

Guided by his passion for building businesses that are innovative, profitable and provide positive social impact, he co-founded Essentially Geared Wines in 2017. They produce single-serve cans, crafted for people who want wine that can keep up with, and become an essential part of, their lifestyle. In addition, he serves as a steering committee member of the Sonoma Wine Heritage District.

Kivelstadt’s Lot#36 Kivelstadt Cellars “Ode to 1877” is a 2019 Carignane from Alexander Valley

The Sonoma County Barrel Auction was established as a means for members of the trade to access never before, never again wines from Sonoma County’s most acclaimed vintners to purchase for resale to their customers and wine collectors. To review the complete auction catalog, visit:

Trade registration for the 2020 Sonoma County Barrel Auction is available for licensed wholesalers, retailers and restaurateurs. To learn more or request a ticket to access the online program, visit: or contact

The funds raised at the Sonoma County Barrel Auction support Sonoma County Vintners marketing initiatives.

For downloadable headshots and biographies of these Icons and Innovator, please visit:



About Sonoma County Vintners
Sonoma County Vintners is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions which was named Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in 2019. Sonoma County Vintners represents over 260 wineries throughout the county. The organization actively promotes Sonoma County through educational programming; advocates for its members at local, state and federal levels; and contributes to the local communities through our Sonoma County Vintners Foundation. Sonoma County Wine Auction, its annual fundraiser, has raised over $36 million benefitting non-profit organizations throughout the region. To learn more about Sonoma County Vintners, visit


About American AgCredit
Founded in 1916, American AgCredit provides loans, leasing and other financial services to agriculture and rural communities throughout California and beyond. Their unmatched expertise allows them to provide farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses with the resources and financial solutions they need to be successful. Headquartered in Santa Rosa, they have particular expertise within the wine industry.

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