As the driving force behind Chateau Montelena’s winemaking endeavors, Matt Crafton brings a unique blend of determination and creativity to his role as Winemaker. While many initially expected him to pursue a career in finance after earning an Economics degree from the University of Virginia in 2003, Matt’s heart led him to the world of winemaking. He started from the ground up, absorbing his father’s wisdom that hard work is the ultimate differentiator.
Matt’s journey took him from the cellar to vineyards across the East Coast, Napa, and Sonoma, culminating in a degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis in 2008. His relentless dedication earned him the position of Enologist at Montelena, eventually rising to the esteemed role of Winemaker in 2014.
At Montelena, Matt thrives in a dynamic environment that encourages innovation and the pursuit of perfection. Beyond winemaking, he takes on multifaceted responsibilities, including brand strategy, sustainability initiatives, and educational initiatives. Matt fosters a culture of collaborative learning through internal seminars and mentorships, emphasizing the importance of knowledge-sharing.
In crafting wines, Matt follows no rigid template. Instead, he focuses on creating terroir-driven wines that authentically express the vineyard and vintage. For Matt, winemaking is about taking the raw potential of the vineyard and transforming it into not just something delicious, but also truly inspiring. His journey from finance to the art of winemaking exemplifies the profound impact of following one’s passion.
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