Meet Our Winemaker

Dough is about the roots of food and wine. Back to the yeast. Back to what creates a good foundation ... whether it’s a good foundation for a wine or a culinary masterpiece.

Meet Heidi

As the director of winemaking for Dough Wines, Heidi Bridenhagen is one of the most acclaimed winemakers of her generation, recognized for her winemaking artistry and her commitment to the environment and social justice. In addition to having earned more than 400 scores of 90 points or higher before the age of 40, Heidi is guided by a passion for sustainability and a belief in fostering a more inclusive wine industry. 

Heidi grew up in Wisconsin near the shores of Lake Michigan. After earning a B.S. in biochemistry, she fell in love with wine while traveling throughout France, Italy, Spain, and Germany. After gaining experience in the cellar of New Zealand’s Oyster Bay Winery and honing her craft at Sonoma-Cutrer, Heidi joined Sonoma County’s renowned MacRostie Winery as assistant winemakerin 2011. Two short years later, at the age of 29, Heidi was named just the third winemaker in MacRostie’s storied history. 

In the decade since, Heidi has vaulted into the upper echelons of new world winemaking, earning acclaim for her beautifully balanced and expressive wines. In 2019, Heidi married her passion for wine with her commitment to sustainability and social justice when she became the founding winemaker for Dough Wines, the first-ever wine collaboration with the James Beard Foundation (JBF). 

To make delicious wines that would be embraced for their food-friendly appeal, Heidi collaborated with an esteemed panel of JBF-honored chefs to establish Dough’s fresh, vibrant style. 

“As a winemaker, you hope your wines will bring people together in celebration and friendship. With Dough, we are also trying to bring people together to drive meaningful change.”

Meet Branden

Winemaker Branden Hamby works side-by-side with Heidi to create every wine in the Dough portfolio. A talented technical winemaker with a gifted palate and expertise working with numerous varietals and wine regions, Branden embraces the collaborative spirit of Dough to craft vibrant, impeccably balanced wines that are defined both by their sense of place, and their sense of purpose.

Branden grew up in the agricultural community of Turlock, California, and earned a degree in Biological Sciences from UC Santa Barbara. During a gap year, Branden worked in a wine laboratory in Sebastopol, an experience that sparked his desire to become a winemaker. In the years that followed, Branden honed his craft at Bronco Wine Company, and Owl Ridge Wine Services, where he was able to work with many of the top winemakers and vineyards in California.

In 2019, eager to focus on small-lot, luxury winemaking, Branden joined the Central Coast’s Seabold Cellars as winemaker, where he worked alongside founder and Master Sommelier Chris Miller. He also had the unique opportunity to work with Chef Gordon Ramsey to create Ramsey’s debut line of signature wines—an experience that helped to shape his approach at Dough.

Following Seabold, Branden served as the associate winemaker at Draxton Wine Cellars in Healdsburg, before joining Dough Wines in 2022.

“When you become a parent, you start to think deeply about the next generation. As a winemaker, Dough provides a rare opportunity to change the planet for the better. Being a part of Dough fills my cup personally and professionally, knowing that I’m helping others while supporting equity and sustainability in the food and beverage industry.”

Winemaking Regions

We source our fruit from some of the finest wine regions in California and Oregon, including Willamette Valley, Sonoma Coast and Napa Valley. 

The Collaboration

To craft the final blends for dough, Heidi works in concert with a hand-selected group of JBF Chefs and Sommeliers. Heidi presents two distinct blends of each varietal to the group, followed by a lively group tasting, where everyone has the opportunity to weigh in on which will pair best with food, and which aromas and flavors are striking the right chord. From there, Heidi takes the feedback back to the cellar to compose the final blends.

Making Dough Wines is such a fun, collaborative process. It's a really interesting and unique opportunity to gain additional perspective on the wines from people with trained palates in different fields.

Dough Wines

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