Jenne Lee Bonaccorsi was born in Seoul, Korea in 1970. At the age of 13, she fell in love with food, watching food shows on PBS such as the Frugal Gourmet, Galloping Gourmet and of course Julia Child. At a young age she was mimicking gourmet recipes long before the ingredients were readily available.
While attending USC Jenne Lee started working in restaurants; her first job answering phones at Trump’s restaurant, beginning her 20 years in restaurants. She later moved to Watergrill Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, and then to her dream, she started working for Wolfgang Puck which spanned 15 years, from 1993 to 2008. Jenne Lee was the maître’ D at Spago Beverly Hills, which won the James Beard award in hospitality in 2005.
In 1999 Michal and Jenne Lee Bonaccorsi formed the Bonaccorsi Wine Company and set out to produce wine of their own with the love of Burgundy and the Rhone. Since their first vintage in 1999, they continued to strive for improvements not only in winemaking techniques but improve the quality of the best vineyards in the central coast. “Our goal at the beginning was to move from Santa Barbara to the Russian River Valley, but Michael realized that we could produce wine just as good, if not better in the central coast, especially in the new Santa Rita Hills appellation . . .all this untapped potential.” J.L. Bonaccorsi
In January 2004, Michael Bonaccorsi suddenly passed away. He left behind a legacy of winemaking, his first wines becoming some of the highest rated syrah in Wine Spectator, and the Pinots the highest rated in 2005. Michael was a true believer that the most important palate was your own, regardless of the person’s credentials. Jenne Lee Bonaccorsi continues to make the wines, wines that strive for complexity and concentration, the delicacy.
In 2007, Bonaccorsi was among the top 30 Pinot producers by Wine Spectator, has served their wines at the White House and continues to source the best vineyards in the Central Coast the ever changing landscape.
Celebrating Women in Wine
In 1998, NWA and Tom Black put together a women-centric l’Eté du Vin to celebrate the power and success of women in the wine industry. It’s only fitting that on the twentieth anniversary of that empowered evening, we do the same. These women are talented, fierce, and deserving of our recognition for more than simply being women.