The Jimenez Family Proprietors
For many years, the Jimenez family has dreamt of owning a vineyard and making wine in California. Having traveled to many of the world’s premier wine regions in France, Spain, Italy, and Argentina, Ricardo and Dayva fell in love with wine’s natural ability to bond generations and tell the story of a family across several lifetimes.
It was during one particular visit to Napa Valley in 2021 when the Jimenez family’s dream became a reality and they had the opportunity to purchase Firetree Vineyard from Silverado Vineyards. Their oldest daughter Sophya, who is deeply in love with botany and has expressed an interest in viticulture, was a driving force in the family’s decision to take the leap of faith and begin their journey as Napa Valley vintners.
With devotion and admiration for the art and science of wine, the Jimenez family is pursuing their dreams in Los Carneros with two Firetree Family Vineyards Estate Chardonnays, each one reminiscent of the wines they enjoy from Burgundy.
Benjamin Leachman Vineyard Manager
Ben has tended to the soil and vines at Firetree Vineyard for years. He began his wine career in 2004 at what was once the largest producer of estate Chardonnay in California. What started out as a lab position set the stage for Ben’s appreciation of crafting fine wines. He’s worked at every point in the process, from digging out must tanks to hosting guests in the tasting room, but found growing the highest quality grapes possible to be the most rewarding. He works in numerous vineyards throughout Napa, but Firetree stands out to him as one of the best sites for expressive and focused Chardonnay. It can be a challenging site, due to its slope and aspect, but the quality of the wine produced there makes it worth the effort.
Julien Fayard Winemaker
Julien was introduced to the Jimenez family and Firetree Family Vineyards in 2021 through a neighboring vintner. He immediately got to work with Ben, the vineyard manager, to bring the vineyard to its peak potential ahead of the family’s inaugural harvest. With more than two decades of winemaking expertise, Julien is one of Napa Valley’s most respected winemakers producing California varietals with French finesse. Originally from France, he believes in producing wines with an identity — exploiting what makes each one unique. At Firetree Family Vineyards, Julien’s wines are a pure expression of their terroir, upholding the highest standard in the vineyard and highlighting the characteristics of the fruit in each wine.
Kyle Butcher Director of Private Clients
Originally from Rancho Cucamonga, CA—home of California’s first winery—Kyle has lived and worked in wine regions spanning from California to Eastern Europe. He joined the Firetree Family Vineyards team with Ricardo and Dayva's purchase of the vineyard. Kyle appropriated Firetree’s slogan, ‘Fidem et Futurum,’ which, in Latin, means ‘Faith and Future.’ Sharing their vision, this slogan resonated with Kyle; he views winemaking as a team effort, one which requires everyone to work together and have faith in each other. Kyle looks forward to realizing the Jimenez family’s vision while continuing to uphold the legacy of this historic vineyard.