Jean-François Pellet is a distinguished winemaker renowned for his exceptional craftsmanship and commitment to quality. With a profound respect for tradition and an unwavering dedication to sustainable practices, Jean-François has elevated Pepper Bridge Winery to international acclaim. His wines reflect the unique terroir of Walla Walla while showcasing his meticulous attention to detail. Each bottle bearing the Pepper Bridge label embodies his passion for the land, producing complex and balanced wines that have garnered numerous awards and accolades.

Jean-François got his start at winemaking and vineyard management with his father in Switzerland. After receiving degrees in both enology and viticulture, JF went on to produce in Spain, Germany, and the Napa Valley. He was working as Heitz Cellars as Assistant Winemaker when he was introduced to Founder Norm McKibben.

After visiting the Walla Walla area, he came to Pepper Bridge Winery as Winemaker in 1999 and became a partner shortly thereafter. The opportunity to work as not only winemaker but also as partner was an offer too good to pass up—he has been here ever since. “This is a great adventure,” says Jean-François. “Walla Walla impressed me right away as an extremely unique grape-growing area. Distinctive climate, soils and geography make it different than anywhere else in the world, and now we have the chance to incorporate the latest winery design and techniques with the very high-quality grapes.”

His success at Pepper Bridge Winery allowed him the opportunity to join the Amavi Cellars partnership in 2001 (Pepper Bridge’s “sister” winery) and to apply his winemaking skills to different grape varietals, particularly Syrah and Sémillon. For both wineries, he maintains constant connection with the respective vineyard managers. You will find his at the sites all throughout the season—watching vine and soil health, bud break, collaborating on thinning, tasting the berries for harvest, and everything in between.

Jean-François Pellet’s legacy as a winemaker of distinction continues to grow, with his commitment to tradition and excellence leaving an indelible mark on the world of winemaking. His remarkable journey from Switzerland to Walla Walla, coupled with his profound connection to the vineyards and devotion to sustainable practices, has made him an influential figure in the industry. With every bottle he crafts, Jean-François Pellet invites wine enthusiasts to savor the essence of Walla Walla’s terroir and experience the artistry of a winemaker who has mastered the delicate balance of tradition and innovation.

Jean-François may be reached at jf@pepperbridge.com.