From a Silicon Valley Garage to International Acclaim
Testarossa (Italian for “red head”) was the nickname given Rob Jensen as a young university student in Italy. Rob and Diana Jensen started Testarossa in their garage in 1993 with just twenty-five cases of wine. Today, the winery works closely with top winegrowers in the Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Rita Hills, Arroyo Grande Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Russian River Valley, Chalone and Santa Cruz Mountains appellations. The label has grown to national prominence among collectors and reviewers by cultivating long-term partnerships with passionate winegrowers and vineyards the likes of Garys’, Pisoni, Rosella’s, Doctor's, Sierra Madre and Rincon.
Rob Jensen, a fourth generation Northern Californian, developed a passion for winemaking: its past, present, and future through extensive travel to Europe's great wine growing areas, combined with living in Italy during his university days. This fueled his interests and eventually led to the founding of Testarossa Winery.
Although Rob's degree is in Electrical Engineering, with a minor in Italian language and culture (Santa Clara University, 1986), he has studied grape growing, winemaking and chemistry at the renowned School of Viticulture and Oenology at UC Davis. During Rob's nearly twenty year high-tech career he held several sales and marketing positions in pre- and post-IPO companies in Silicon Valley. In October 2001, Rob left high-tech to follow his dream and work full-time at the winery. Rob's technical background, love of the arts, and business experience made it a natural for him to dive headlong into the wine business, an industry that is equal parts science and art.
Diana Jensen, also born in Northern California but raised in San Diego, met Rob while earning her BS in Electrical Engineering at Santa Clara University. After graduating in 1988, she worked in high-tech marketing at Silicon Valley's National Semiconductor and Cypress Semiconductor. She, along with Rob, founded Testarossa Winery in 1993 as a small, weekend project. But as new grape sources were secured and the wines gained reputation, a daily presence was needed to develop the winery into a business. In 1994, Diana left the high tech world and started running Testarossa full time.