Winemaker Christopher Tynan credits much of his success in the wine business to his degree in English.“Like most English majors,” he says with a big laugh, “I was unemployable after graduation.” He continues, “It was fortuitous that I ended up running a fine dining restaurant after graduation and that’s when the wine “fire” was first lit.” As wine buyer for the restaurant, he got to taste wines from every corner of the wine world. Inspired by what he tasted, he began collecting wine for his own cellar. “I am an avid wine collector and look upon older wines as textbooks. Not only is it a great way to rationalize my wine spending, but it is also a chance to commune with the pioneers of the industry, if only for a few brief glasses.” After an especially memorable tasting of well-cellared 1974 Napa Cabernets, Christopher was inspired to pack his bags for California. “I remember thinking to myself, “I have to go to Napa and learn how to make this. And I want to do it at the highest level.” So he did. He spent his first summers in Napa doing cellar internships at Cain Vineyards and Blankiet Estate and doing irrigation management for vineyards all over Napa and Sonoma. In 2006, Christopher brought his tireless work ethic and commitment to excellence to Colgin Cellars. During Christopher’s 5 year tenure as Assistant Winemaker, Colgin received 4 perfect 100 point ratings from renowned wine critic Robert Parker Jr. “The philosophy at Colgin was low yield farming and no compromise winemaking. It was an inspiring place to work.” It’s that same lofty philosophy that led Christopher to Cliff Lede Vineyards in the summer of 2012. “When Cliff asked me to join the team, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. He’s got that same passion to make the greatest wine in the world. And he backs it up with investments in the right vineyards and people.” Christopher is thrilled with opportunity to continue working with viticulturist David Abreu’s Madrona Ranch and Thorevilos, vineyards he considers two of the greatest in the Napa Valley. Christopher brings exceptional experience in making artistically hand crafted world class wines to Cliff Lede Vineyards and he promises, despite his English major yearnings, not to reference Melville or Dostoyevsky in our company tasting notes.
“When Cliff asked me to join the team, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. He’s got that same passion to make the greatest wine in the world."