Charles Thomas joined the Quintessa team as winemaker in June 2007. He has a storied career with some of the most highly regarded wineries in the industry including Robert Mondavi Winery, Domaine Chandon, Cardinale and Rudd.
Charles embarked on his journey into the world of winemaking, starting literally from the ground up as he was studying at the University of California, Berkeley. His early experiences include installing vineyard irrigation systems throughout Napa and parts of Sonoma, operating presses and tending vineyards for Domaine Chandon, leading tours at Robert Mondavi Winery and buying the wines for the Sonoma Cheese Company.
In 1978, Charles joined Robert Mondavi Winery's production department moving through positions including barrel enologist, senior enologist and assistant winemaker. After gaining a thorough knowledge of every aspect of winemaking he was promoted to head winemaker. He assisted in the creation, execution and evolution of Opus One from 1979 through 1994.
In 1994, he moved to Jackson Family Farms where he worked closely with the rebuilding of Cardinale’s vineyards and winemaking techniques. From there, he joined Rudd in 2002 where he directed changes to both the winery and vineyards. Charles lives on Napa Valley’s Mount Veeder at the vineyard property he shares with his wife, Lily.
Country born: Thailand
Education: University of California, Berkeley
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
Get it right in the vineyard and focus on the strengths of both the vineyard and vintage with minimal intervention