Staci Nugent


Staci is a native of the Finger Lakes region who first developed an appreciation for wine in the Introduction to Wines course offered to undergraduates at Cornell. After graduating with a degree in biology, Staci moved west and started formal training in genetics at Stanford University, while also moonlighting on the weekends as a tasting room host for Thomas Kruse Winery in Gilroy, California. When she wasn’t pouring for customers, she was assisting the winemaker, and the allure of the cellar proved to be stronger than that of the lab. Shortly after earning an M.S. in Genetics, Staci enrolled at the University of California at Davis, where she graduated with an M.S. in Viticulture & Enology.

Staci then traveled internationally on a string of internships – Ornellaia in Tuscany, Hardy’s Tintara in Australia, and Williams Selyem in Sonoma – where she learned various winemaking styles and techniques. After living out of suitcases for more than a year, she came home to the Finger Lakes, and to the wine she first enjoyed, riesling. She’s currently the winemaker at Keuka Lake Vineyards, where she masterminds the journey from cluster to bottle.