Chris Carpenter is the winemaker for some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries, including Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota and Mt. Brave. He has earned a reputation for taming Napa mountain tannins and creating legendary Cabernet Sauvignon. He believes in maximum attention in the vineyards and minimal intervention in the winery to create the purest expression of place.
Chris earned an undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, then went on to receive his MBA at the University of Illinois, Chicago. It was there that he started exploring and discovering the great food and wine scene in Chicago.
During a visit to Napa Valley, Chris discovered a lifestyle that combined his love of the sciences with his growing passion for culinary and wine pursuits— a way to be challenged both intellectually and creatively. Chris and his wife founded the Napa Valley chapter of Slow Food and served as Chair for Slow Food USA, an organization dedicated to preserving regional foods and small food purveyors, and to celebrating local farmers and chefs. Chris continues his love affair with the restaurant business by bartending every Friday night at the Rutherford Grill where he “learns more about human nature and about life in general, behind the plank.”