Winemaker, Freemark Abbey
Kristy Melton has more than a decade of experience crafting wines with structure, finesse, and age-worthiness. Before joining Freemark Abbey, Kristy held winemaking roles at several Napa Valley and Sonoma County wineries including Clos Du Val, Bootleg, Kendall-Jackson, Saintsbury, and others. In her role as Director of Winemaking at Napa Valley’s iconic Clos Du Val, her exceptional ability to craft modern wines of balance and elegance was widely credited for the winery’s reemergence as a leader in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon production.
An El Paso, Texas native, Kristy graduated with a BS in Biology and Animal Science from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. Following a passion for science, she began her career as a research scientist at the prestigious National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. To afford living in the metropolitan area, she supplemented her wages by bartending and working at a winery in Maryland. This brought her into contact with food and wine aficionados and piqued her interest in both. A family trip to Napa Valley brought the realization of the science that underlies winemaking and inspired her to shift her focus towards wine. She enrolled at the University of California at Davis where she earned a Masters in Viticulture and Enology in 2007.
Honored to be named among Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s "Top 40 under 40 Tastemakers" as well as Drinks Business’ "Top 30 under 40 Winemakers to Watch," Kristy leverages her meticulous attention to detail to craft wines of structure, finesse and balance.
Country born: United States
Education: Master's of Science, Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
Honors / Awards:
Wine Enthusiast Magazine's "Top 40 under 40 Tastemakers"
Drinks Business "Top 30 under 40 Winemakers to Watch"