board of directors
John is the co-founder of Trefethen Family Vineyards, one of Napa Valley’s true pioneering wineries. When his parents, Gene and Katie Trefethen, were looking for a rural retreat, John saw potential for something greater. Having completed a business school project on starting a “family winery,” he went to work with his dad replanting the vineyards on their newly purchased estate. Within a few years, John and his wife Janet began to restore the dilapidated 1886 winery on the property. They produced their first commercial vintage in 1973—featuring a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir—with John as winemaker. Their 1976 Chardonnay was proclaimed “ Best Chardonnay in the World” at the Wine Olympics in Paris in 1979.
John has been a pilot since 1960, has had a love affair with motorcycles since the 1980s, and has been an avid car racer for most of his slightly juvenile adult years. John and Janet’s two adult children, Hailey and Lorenzo, share their parents’ passion for estate-grown wines, and are next-generation stewards of the family business.
John grew up in Oakland and Claremont, California. He attended the University of North Carolina, served in the U.S. Navy as a Lieutenant, and holds an MBA from Stanford University. John served as Founding President of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and President of both the Napa Valley Vintners and the Napa Wine Services Co-Op, as well as a board member of the California Wine Institute. He joined Festival Napa Valley’s Board of Directors in 2018.