Rob Jensen ’86 and Diana Jensen ’88 own Testarossa Winery, in Los Gatos, which is housed in the beautiful old Novitiate Winery founded by the Jesuits of then-Santa Clara College in the late 19th century.
Testarossa (Italian for “red head”) was the nickname given Rob as a young university student in Italy. Rob, 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. Although Rob’s degree is in electrical engineering, with a minor in Italian language and culture, 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. 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. 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.