Brenae Royal

Brenae Royal

Vineyard Manager, E+J Gallo’s Monte Rosso
Royal Brenae Copyright

At 29, Brenae Royal is the youngest-ever vineyard manager for E+J Gallo’s Monte Rosso, one of Sonoma County’s most important vineyards. She’s the rare woman, and even rarer African American, to rise to such heights in the white male-dominated winemaking world.

Royal is used to being exceptional. Growing up in the farming world of California’s Central Valley, she was the only person of color in her high school band and in the local Future Farmers of America. Always a gardener, she majored in plant science at Chico State, where she focused on corn, not grapes.

That emphasis changed when she landed an internship at Monte Rosso when she was 24. The next year, she was put in charge of the vineyards that produce zinfandel, sémillon and cabernet sauvignon.

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