Winemaking Team

Justin Knight, Associate Winemaker

Justin Knight's story to becoming a winemaker is one of hard work, patience, and perseverance in achieving his goal. As a Temecula native, Justin began his journey to winemaking eight years ago, right here at Danza del Sol Winery. Starting in the tasting room, Justin quickly realized the cellar and vineyard was where he truly wanted to be. Working in the cellar, gave Justin the opportunity to apprentice under three well respected winemakers in Temecula Valley: Mike Tingley, Renato Sais and Art Villarreal for seven harvests.

Justin is heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the winery and vineyard, while continuing the tradition of making amazing quality Danza wines!  “Making wine is a perfect balance of Art and Science. I’ve always been interested in chemistry, and making things with my hands. Wine production was the ideal career for me”. With Old World approaches and years honing his craft, Justin is passionate about producing wines that are filled with tradition and simplicity, while incorporating new age techniques to ensure great, high quality wines.

 

Renato Sais, Consulting Winemaker

Renato Sais, our consulting winemaker, returns to Danza after four years as Master Winemaker and Vineyard Director at Maurice Car’rie Winery. Renato fell in love with winemaking back in 2005 in Mexico on his family’s winery in the Valley of Guadalupe, Baja California. In 2009, he began working in Sonoma, CA as an Enologist for Windsor Oak Winery. In 2010, Renato worked as the Assistant Winemaker, as well as Vineyard Manager, here at Danza del Sol Winery where he spent four harvests. In 2014 he became the Winemaker at Maurice Car’rie Winery.

Renato’s approach to winemaking is “To understand and respect nature, while making the most of the grapes we are blessed to receive every season. Transforming grapes gently in order to extract the beautiful aromas and flavors, and always making sure that when you are tasting a particular wine, the wine reflects the vineyard, the cellar and all the passion and care we put into the wine every step of the way.”