E&J Gallo Winery
Rita Hansen has grown up in California’s Central Valley near Modesto and she is now the Head Distiller for E & J Distillers. She attended CSU San Francisco and received a B.A. in biology and later earned another B.A in chemistry from CSU Stanislaus. Those led in 2005 to working in E & J Gallo Winery’s analytical laboratory. She couldn’t help herself. She fell for the wine business and, soon after, the distilling world connected to it.
Rita has been working with E & J Distillers and spirits since 2010 and has been an integral part of new product launches and extensions. Rita has been focused on brandy for a number of years. She says she particularly enjoys the complexities of brandy making, from blending decisions to all the nuances that the aging and barrel programs can impart in brandy.
Along with her distilling responsibilities, Rita is currently pursuing an MBA from Pepperdine University. She currently lives in Modesto with her husband and two small children and enjoys playing golf, when she can.