The Wine Maker


Andy Litwack


Winemaker for Mary Michelle Winery is a Midwest native. He has over 30 years experience in the California wine industry, including 27 years as a winery owner and consultant. A UC Davis graduate with a degree in Fermentation Science and Enology, Andy has utilized his education and experience to make wines that are enjoyed by a loyal worldwide following. After his formal education, Andy was fortunate to work under three world-class master winemakers before joining that elite group himself. After turning over the operation of the California winery to his son, Andy returned to his roots to make premium wines in Illinois. During his career, Andy has made wine both in the US and Israel, as well as working with and blending wines all over the world. Many of his wines have won prestigious awards from committees around the globe. 

Mary Michelle through the past nineteen years has experienced many setbacks in the wine industry, but each difficulty was met with the determination to use it as an opportunity to make the Winery and its wines better.  September 30, 2017, it lost its beloved Winemaker Andy Litwack to a heart attack.

 Andy found great joy in teaching the people that worked for him and demanded from his worker/student to learn what he taught them.  If they did not learn they did not stay.  The Group at Mary Michelle at the time of Andy’s death had worked for him at least 3 years. Andy’s wisdom to share his years of experience with his next generation of winemakers allows his aura to fill the winery with his dreams of making premium wines at the Mary Michelle Winery.

 Andy was a blessing to Mary Michelle Winery.  During his 7 years of making wine at Mary Michelle, he taught the young people who worked for him to be excellent winemakers without the benefit of a formal education in enology and fermentation science.  Today the Group he trained is making the Mary Michelle and Illinois Cellars wines as if Andy had never left.  His spirit and demand for excellence are the driving forces to guide his young winemakers to continue to make excellent wines.

Andy also left us relationships with his best students from his 30 years of teaching others to make excellent wines.  Two of his best students work as Master Winemakers at two of the largest wineries in CA and provide guidance when needed. And another friend, who graduated with Andy from UC Davis, and retired from Budweiser as a Master Brewer, spends two days a week working at Mary Michelle continuing the teaching process of the young staff.