Willem Johnson – Winemaker & Sommelier
Gainesville, Texas • North Texas Hill Country • Red River Valley
Everybody has a calling…mine is wine, everything from vine to venue. My 20 plus years as a sommelier and wine buyer for fine restaurants in Vail, Colorado and Nantucket, Massachusetts and a few years on the sales side of a beautiful portfolio of Italian wines allowed me the opportunity to travel around the United States and Europe tasting wine.
These trips fed a passion for winemaking that started when I decided to spend a couple harvest seasons in France working as a “cellar rat”. I honed my winemaking in Vail for 17 years making wine for a private winery and was the founding winemaker for 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery where I was the first Texas-based winemaker to win a prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Sweepstake Medal. Today, you can find me at Deschain Cellars, my own winery and passion project, in the North Texas Hill Country. My favorite part of the job is helping individuals find the perfect wines to satisfy their palates.