Meet the Winemaking Team

 

Conor McCormack, Winemaker

Conor McCormack, raised in Northern California, got his start in the wine industry in 2003 working for a vineyard negociant who focused on sourcing premium grapes from some of the best vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties. After refining his craft in renowned cellars of the region, Conor relocated to the East Coast to build and launch the winemaking program at Brooklyn Winery. He has since been focused on producing fine wines from multiple and distinct growing regions in a wide range of styles, with the linking factor for all, first and foremost, being the quality of the vineyard. His winemaking perspective can be summarized simply: “I strive to make elegant yet intense wines that showcase a particular site from a particular year. I want to highlight each region for what it can do best, while also pushing the boundaries of what is often expected.” Conor brings a strong combination of technical training and hands-on experience to Brooklyn Winery, BKW, and District Winery, specializing in boutique premium wines.

 

Chuck Gergley, Assistant Winemaker

Originally hailing from New York, Chuck Gergley entered the wine-making world in 2007 at Crushpad, an urban winery in San Francisco, CA. During his time there he was fortunate enough to work with grapes from some of the best vineyards in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington State. While at Crushpad he began developing the skills necessary to produce fine wine in an urban environment. After returning to the east coast, he joined Brooklyn Winery for the 2011 harvest season and has been part of the team ever since. Chuck oversees production at Brooklyn Winery and continually aims to maintain and produce wines that are distinctive, surprising, fun, and innovative. "Winemaking is constantly throwing new challenges at you and there's always more and more to learn—that's what makes it so rewarding."

 

 

Luigi Picotti, Cellar Master

Born and raised in the Franciacorta wine region in northern Italy, Luigi Picotti was exposed to the art of winemaking from the earliest days of his life. His family made small batches of red wine for family and friends in the house cellar and he helped pick and process the grapes. In 2009, Luigi moved to New York City to take advantage of the wine trade tastings, seminars, and opportunities that the city has to offer. NYC was the perfect place to expand his knowledge and develop his palate, but the opportunity to work in a wine cellar seemed unlikely. A few years later he visited Brooklyn Winery and he was surprised and impressed that such an operation producing such high quality wine could exist in an urban environment. Luigi joined the Brooklyn Winery team in the 2014 for harvest and has since continued to be dedicated to making the best wine possible. When Luigi goes back home to Franciacorta for a visit, he does not miss the chance to visit small and unique producers to pick their brains about winemaking techniques, trends, and practices.