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An hour with Chris Carpenter

By Thursday 20 June 2024July 25th, 2024No Comments

When winemaker Chris Carpenter walks into a room you notice.

His Anthony Bourdain-meets-Donavon Frankenreiter aesthetic (google the American musician and surfer – you’ll see what I mean) emanates a thoughtful kind of confidence.

Chris looks as if he’d be just as comfortable on a stage in a dive bar or chasing surf breaks as he is in wineries across the globe.

As a music fanatic, sometimes surfer and sailor, he often is.

“I play trombone, but I play it horribly,” he says.

“I make good wine though. It’s still not as cool as sitting on stage with a horn or guitar or whatever, but it gets close.”

Chris talks in a deep rumble with an accent carved in his birth town of Milton, a suburb of Boston, and formative years in Chicago.

He is a deep thinker and speaks his mind.

When he starts a sentence with, “To be frank,” you know a hard-hitting doozy is coming.

Fortunately, he’s got the nous to back it up.

Now based in California’s Napa Valley, Chris works for Jackson Family Wines, one of the largest family-owned wine groups in the world. Of more than 50 brands under the Jackson umbrella, Chris is chief winemaker for Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota and Mt Brave.

• To read the full eight-page feature article by Katie Spain subscribe to WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine.

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