Winemaker, Titus Vineyards
Stephen Cruzan joined Titus Vineyards as Winemaker in August 2015. A career in winemaking wasn't always in the plans for him, having graduated from North Carolina State University with a BS in Biochemistry in 2004 and planning on a life in research. While working at a restaurant in North Carolina in 2005, a chance meeting with a Winemaker from Sonoma resulted in a light bulb moment that led him to the Napa Valley - winemaking was the perfect opportunity to couple a life-long appreciation of fine wine and the technical sciences of his degree.
Stephen got his start at Kathyrn Hall Vineyards in St. Helena as a Lab Intern for the 2006 harvest, staying on to run the lab for the following year. 2008 saw him traveling the world, working harvests in New Zealand, Burgundy and Germany's Mosel River Valley. In 2009, he joined the team at Chappellet Winery under Phillip Titus. Working closely with Phillip, Stephen moved up the ladder from Cellar Hand to Enologist and had the chance to meet Phillip's brother Eric Titus as well. He joined the Titus Team directly from Cade Winery on Howell Mountain where, as the Assistant Winemaker, he spent three vintages crafting elegant and rich Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.
With the advent of a new winery for Titus Vineyards in 2015, the Titus brothers reached out to Stephen to take the reins on their new facility. He's excited to have the chance to work with Phillip and Eric once again, and to craft modern, balanced wines off of the family's estate vineyards.
Country born: USA
Years in the wine industry: 10-15 years