Beaulieu Vineyard’s Trevor Durling Sets the Benchmark for Napa Valley Wines

Trevor Durling kneeling on Beaulieu Vineyard grounds

May 11, 2023

A luxury name in wine that has been savored for over 100 years, Beaulieu Vineyard has set the bar high for Napa Valley vineyards. Trevor Durling, Sr. Winemaker, has spent the past six years working on producing exceptional wines through the meticulous winemaking process Beaulieu Vineyard has in place.

Trevor grew up in the heart of wine country where he united his love for agriculture, science, and cuisine to work his way up in the industry. With experience from several successful vineyards before landing at Beaulieu Vineyard, Trevor offers wisdom that expands beyond winemaking.

We recently chatted with Trevor to learn about his rise to success in the industry, passion for each pour, and the future of Beaulieu Vineyard.

What most intrigued you about winemaking when first getting into the art?

Trevor Durling: What intrigues me about winemaking still to this day is that it is a perfect blend of art, science, and agriculture. Wine brings people together from all over the world! Getting to produce something tangible, delicious, and generally shared during life’s happiest moments is an absolute pleasure to be a part of. 

Are there specific practices you learned while working as an intern at Gloria Ferrer Winery that have been carried into Beaulieu Vineyard's processes? 

My time as an intern early in my career is where I learned the “ins & outs” of wine production and was able to apply the various concepts I had studied at university to real, everyday winemaking. I was also able to spend copious amounts of time in the vineyard, and this was a period where I began to understand how every decision made in the field would affect the resulting wine. I would love to bring a small amount of sparkling wine back to the Beaulieu portfolio someday! 

What does innovation within winemaking mean to you?  

Innovation within winemaking means regularly thinking outside the box to improve how we make, sell, and enjoy wine. We continually review and refine our viticulture practices, sustainability practices, winemaking technology, operational efficiency, and new ways to market to and attract new consumers. It is vital to stay on top of the latest developments in these areas to evolve and keep our industry healthy!

Are there any sustainable practices your team implements to preserve Napa Valley for future winemakers?  

Absolutely. We have very ambitious goals, and we will be operating with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2024 with a goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2030. Currently we are California Certified Sustainable, Fish Friendly Farming Certified, and soon will be Napa Green Winery Certified.

Improved sustainability has become a key focal point in every facet of wine production at Beaulieu. In the vineyard, we are doing things such as eliminating inorganic sprays, moving to mechanical weeding, composting, irrigation refinement, and innovative practices such as using biochar to sequester carbon. In the winery, we continue to look for ways to reduce the use of water and energy and are working toward zero waste to landfill. These practices will improve the quality of our wines over time and leave Napa Valley as a better place for future winemakers.

In your role as Sr. Winemaker, what responsibilities do you take on? 

My responsibilities as General Manager and Sr. Winemaker include everything involving wine production, vineyard and wine quality, team leadership, budgeting & finance, capital investment and improvement, and acting as the key spokesperson for Beaulieu, at home and on the road.

What is the hardest part of your role?  

I’d say the hardest part of my role is being at the constant mercy of Mother Nature, although this is also one of the most exciting parts!

Which career-related memory are you most fond of? Why is this so special to you? 

The day I took my current position at Beaulieu Vineyard was very meaningful. The opportunity and responsibility to lead one of California’s most historically significant wineries is something that doesn’t often happen, particularly when looking at the very few people that have held this position over the winery’s 123-year history (I am only the 5th winemaker to have the pleasure of producing the famed Georges de Latour Private Reserve). I was fortunate to taste the 1968 GdL during my time at college. It left an indelible impression on me and shaped the path of my career and the wines I wanted to create. It was my “ah ha” wine moment. Words can’t describe what an honor it is for me to be now leading the same winery that created the wine which influenced me so much all those years ago. 

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment? 

Having led the team of incredibly talented people who produced the 100-point James Suckling Wine of the Year (2019 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve) and the Wine Spectator’s Value Wine of the Year (2019 Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon) is what I’d consider as my most significant and rewarding professional accomplishment to date.

Where are you hoping to see the future of winemaking go?

We are working our way towards it now with continued innovation, positive environmental impact, and better ways of attracting and “wowing” new wine consumers.

What new things can we expect to see from Beaulieu Vineyard in 2023?

I am working towards a couple of new wines that we aim to produce in the 2023 Vintage which will be very exciting! Stay tuned for more.

Customers can browse the Beaulieu Vineyard portfolio on their BREAKTHRU NOW account or through Provi