A Central Coast native, Jason “JC” Diefenderfer grew up on his family’s ranch in Templeton, just south of Paso Robles. He and Austin Hope attended high school together and forged a friendship that remains today. JC managed farm and ranch operations for King Ranch until 1997 when he began working with the Hope family to design and build their crush facility in Paso Robles. Recalling what sparked his passion for winemaking, JC says “it was the clear approach to winemaking that intrigued me about Treana & Liberty School: their passion and dedication to the vineyard.”
JC has been on the winemaking team at Hope Family Wines since 1998 when he apprenticed under then-winemaker Chris Phelps. He became the assistant winemaker for Liberty School in 1999 and head winemaker in 2006. JC works closely with Austin Hope to craft the blends of all the labels: Liberty School, Treana, Candor, Troublemaker, and Austin Hope. JC oversees Hope Family Wines’ winemaking and viticulture, including working with the grower relations team on vineyard selection and practices, fruit ripeness, and harvest decisions.
JC brings essential attributes and skills to the Hope Family Wines team: local, agricultural roots; familiarity with the wines and winemaking of the Old World and the New; and over a decade of experience with Hope Family Wines’ growers and wines.