Chris Kajani is a Napa native, where she learned early in life the pleasures of jumping on neighbors’ horses for vineyard rides and raiding her parents’ wine cellar (not necessarily in that order). She earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences from UC Davis and began working for biotech giants in the Bay Area. Post extensive travel in the wine regions of France, Spain, and Italy, she decided to take her desire to enhance people’s lives in another direction.
After working a harvest with renowned winemaker Ed Kurtzman, she trekked back to UC Davis and completed her M.S. in Viticulture and Enology in 2005. She was hired on by Pahlmeyer in 2004, and became seduced by their newly launched Pinot Noir project. The Burgundian side of life called to her, and in 2006 she joined Saintsbury where she immersed herself in the nuanced soils and microclimates of Carneros, Anderson Valley, Russian River Valley, and the Sonoma Coast. Today, Chris oversees both winemaking and viticulture for Saintsbury, and believes whole heartedly that fine wine starts in the vineyard. Since 1981, Saintsbury has been committed to demonstrating that Pinot Noir has a steadfast place in the Northern California’s winemaking landscape.
Chris lives Napa with her son and husband. When she isn’t hiking, entertaining, or travelling, you can still find her jumping on neighbor’s horses and raiding wine cellars.
Country born: United States
Education: UC Davis- M.S. in Viticulture and Enology, 2005
Years in the wine industry: 10-15 years