Jay attended Santa Clara University in California and received a Bachelor of Science degree in the combined disciplines of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. After graduation in 1996 he returned home to the Napa Valley where intense home winemaking coupled with Enologist duties at The Hess Collection Winery fueled a passion for the art and science of wine.
By 1999 at the young age of 24, Jay and his brother Matt started Buoncristiani Family Winery while remaining hands-on in the lab, cellar and vineyards at the Hess Collection Winery. From his position as Enologist, at age 26 in 2001 Jay was promoted to Winemaker for the Hess Collection where he remained until the spring of 2005.
Starting in 2005 Jay’s winemaking skills have been directed toward his role as Winemaker at Buoncristiani as well as being the hands-on Consulting Winemaker for a select few additional wineries (Patland Estate Vineyards, Krupp Brothers, Stache, JKL and Remridg). Jay’s wines have earned high regards from the wine industry’s foremost critics, garnering a multitude of wine scores in the high 90s and great achievements such as being named “Rising Star of Napa Cabernet” by the Wine Spectator, # 25 in the Top 100 wines of the world from Wine Enthusiast, and a 96-100 point rated wine from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate where Parker called Jay’s wine “truly magnificent.”