A Word from the Winemaker
(aka The Mad Scientist of Idyllwild)
“Preserving the aromas and flavors of the grapes is what it’s all about. I always start with really good fruit. Next is the cooperage – the barrels I use. I’m very picky about barrels. I use only French oak and specify the forest from which it comes along with the thickness of the staves, the toast level on the inside of the barrel, and whether or not the heads of the barrels are toasted. My passion is to make 'fruit forward' wines. I want my merlot to smell like a merlot. My zinfandel smells like a zinfandel. I like hints of oak, but I don’t want them to be so heavy that they mask the smell of the fruit.”
When Chris isn’t making wine or running experiments in the lab, you’ll find him meeting with wine bloggers or sending off samples to wine reviewers and wine competitions. It’s time well spent since his wine has been featured in Wine Enthusiast and Tasting Panel magazines and won numerous awards at international competitions, including Sweepstakes for the best red wine at the Long Beach Grand Cru, a Double-Gold Award at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, and a Platinum Award at the Sommelier Challenge.
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