Jason “JC” Diefenderfer
A Central Coast native, Jason “JC” Diefenderfer has been on the winemaking team at Hope Family Wines since 1998.
No stranger to agriculture, JC 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 ranching 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 exactly when and how he was bitten by the wine bug that would take him down a different path in farming, he says “it was the clear approach to winemaking that intrigued me about Treana & Liberty School: their passion and dedication to the vineyard.”
Jason started working officially for the winery in 1998 and apprenticed under then-winemaker Chris Phelps. He became the assistant winemaker for Liberty School in 1999 and winemaker in 2006. Today, JC works closely with Austin Hope to craft the blends of all the brands: Liberty School, Treana, Troublemaker and Austin Hope. JC oversees winemaking and viticulture, including working with grower relations team on vineyard selection and vineyard practices, fruit ripeness, and harvest decisions.
He brings the whole package to the table: 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.