Winemaker, Bouchaine Vineyards
Chris is a proud native of Napa where she learned early in life the pleasures of jumping on horses for vineyard rides and raiding her parent's wine cellar (not necessarily in that order). The minute she turned 16, she became the designated driver for family outings up and down the valley, planting the seed for her future career. She went on to earn her B.S. in Biological Sciences at UC Davis and began working for biotech giants in the Bay Area.
After extensive travel in the wine regions of France, Spain, and Italy she took her desire to enhance people's lives in another direction. A chance encounter at a dinner party led her to work a harvest at Testarossa with renowned winemaker and Pinot geek Ed Kurtzman. Bitten by the winemaking bug, she trekked back to UC Davis where she completed her M.S. in Viticulture and Enology. She was hired by Pahlmeyer in 2004 and was immediately seduced by its newly launched Pinot Noir project. The Burgundian side of life called to her, and in 2006 she joined Saintsbury. She was quickly promoted to Associate Winemaker and oversaw winemaking and viticulture.
In 2013, she was promoted to Winemaker. "Immersing myself in the nuanced soils and microclimates of Carneros, and having the opportunity to build relationships with our outstanding and dedicated grower community, has been an incredibly rewarding experience. We live and breathe grapes and wine - but also live on this dirt, breathe this air, and drink this water. To work with people who are not only committed to world class wine growing, but also sustainability and the preservation of this land for generations to come is such an honor.".
Chris became the Winemaker and General Manager at Bouchaine Vineyards in early 2015, bringing with her a deep knowledge of Carneros soils and microclimates along with the driving idea that great wines are grown not made.
Chris lives in Napa with her son and husband. When she isn't hiking, cooking, or travelling, you can still find her jumping on horses and raiding wine cellars.
Country born: United States
Education: M.S. Viticulture & Enology, UC Davis '06
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
Fine wine starts in the vineyard.