Kristy Melton, the accomplished winemaker, steps into the role of the eighth winemaker at Freemark Abbey, a position with a legacy dating back to 1886. With over a decade of fine winemaking experience, Kristy inherits a forward-thinking vision for this storied St. Helena winery.
Originally from El Paso, Texas, Kristy’s journey into winemaking was an intriguing evolution. A background in biology and animal science led her to a career as a research scientist at the National Institutes of Health. However, her love for wine and food blossomed during her part-time job at a winery in Maryland. A pivotal family trip to Napa Valley inspired her to shift her focus towards wine.
Kristy pursued her passion by earning a Masters in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California at Davis in 2007. Her impressive winemaking résumé includes notable stints at Saintsbury, Clos du Val, and Bordeaux Winemaker for Jackson Family Wines, where she oversaw Cabernet and Merlot-centric programs.
Her exceptional palate, knowledge of grape growing, and a deep love for Napa Valley wine caught the eye of Ted Edwards, her predecessor at Freemark Abbey. Edwards expressed his excitement about Kristy’s interest in Freemark Abbey wines and hailed her as his successor.
Kristy’s talents have earned her recognition, including being named among Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s “Top 40 under 40 Tastemakers” and Drinks Business’ “Top 30 under 40 Winemakers to Watch.” With her formidable winemaking skills and passion for the craft, Kristy Melton is poised to continue the legacy of excellence at Freemark Abbey.