Jeff Cohn Cellars

John Bruening

Assistant Winemaker


"I traded my suit and tie for jeans and workboots, and it was the best decision I've ever made."

John Bruening joined Jeff Cohn Cellars as the Assistant Winemaker in January of 2014. Originally from Chicago with a background in finance, John's interest in wine developed from a fascination in the geographic origins indicated on the bottles of wine he was drinking at the time. 

In 2005 John joined the California wine industry as a Financial Analyst for a well known winery. Eventually his interest in wine compelled him to pursue winemaking as a career. He decided to further his education on the subject, studying Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University in New Zealand where he earned a graduate degree. After his schooling, John worked at many top-rated wineries in locations ranging from California, New Zealand, Australia, to Portugal. Travel gave him the chance to experience many different and renowned wine regions, molding him into a versatile and seasoned winemaker. 

Terroir is what influenced his decision to change career paths, and it is importance of terroir to Jeff that drew John to his wines. Though he has seen many parts of the world, the terroir in California was so unique and varied that settling in the Bay Area was an easy decision. Having the opportunity to focus on single vineyard wines is both challenging and rewarding for John. "Our connection to the vineyards is so integral to the winemaking process. I'm out in the vines as much as possible." 

John lives in Berkeley with his wife and his dog. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, cooking, running, and sipping on wines from around the world.