Judd was raised in Napa Valley. He graduated from The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication at Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Television Production, but you might say winemaking was in his blood. Since he was a tot, his parents were making wine. Judd’s first steps were stomping on grapes! From pruning to picking to punching to pressing, Judd has been involved in every facet of winemaking, and he also studied winemaking at UC Davis and Napa Valley College.
In addition to wine, one of Judd’s other passions is playing his ukulele, both solo and with his band, The Maikai Gents Featuring the Mysterious Miss Mauna Loa. “We perform old-time Hawaiian crooning in the Hapa-Haole style. We started because I wanted some Hawaiian music for a birthday luau, I was having for myself and couldn’t get the entertainer I wanted. We learned a few Hawaiian tunes and performed them at the party. My friends and family loved it, but the funny thing was that the resort asked us back for a festival they were having later that spring! So, we learned some more songs and have been gigging ever since.” Why the ukulele? “Someone needed to play it! We thought a ukulele would round out our sound….and I haven’t put it down in years!” Judd has also started a ukulele club in the Napa Valley, The Wine Country Flea Jumpers and is the founder of Napa Valley’s cocktail appreciation guild, Friends of Ardent Mixology.
He has put his college degree to use as the creator of two edgy and quirky web-series, “Judd’s Enormous Wine Show” and “Wine Booty”. His popular weekly radio show, “Judd’s Napa Valley Show” engages our local characters in humorous and sometimes oddball episodes. Give it a listen here.
Now that you know something about our winery’s namesake, come visit and say hello in-person.