Clayton comes to Hudson as a young Winemaker with 14 years of winery experience and an innate skill at crafting wines of presence. Clayton has been involved with the winemaking at Hudson over the last eight years, and additionally gained experience while growing up and working in the vineyards of the small AVA of Clarksburg, California. Clayton was born in Nebraska and spent time in both Nebraska and rural California as a child. Following a BA in Business Economics at UC Santa Barbara, and a semester spent abroad in Italy, Clayton soon figured out that wine would be his life’s endeavor. Largely self-taught in winemaking, he has utilized the guidance and mentorship of some of the best winemakers in Napa Valley and beyond. Over the last eight years, Clayton has become familiar with the vineyard sites at Hudson Ranch and aims to be a steward to the wines. He is extremely excited and humbled to be able to guide the wines as production is brought back on site to the esteemed Hudson Ranch.
Country born: United States
Education: Mentors: Ehren Jordan, Mike Hirby, Luc Morlet, Peter Sisseck, Christopher Vandendriessche, John Kongsgaard, Lee Hudson
Foreign Internships: Dominio de Pingus in Ribera del Duero, Spain; and Corban’s in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Education: Napa Valley College and UCDavis extension classwork
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
Honors / Awards:
SF Chronicle Winemaker to Watch 2016
I think the best winemaking is invisible. Diligence in the cellar and impeccably grown fruit allow this to be possible. There are techniques that can be applied to wines, and adjuncts that will build this that or the other, but if you work really hard at the craft of cellar work, endeavor to have clean ferments, and don’t pick grapes out of balance, you can make very pure wines. Wines that then show one growing season from one place can be magical things.