High Flyer Centerline Red 2011
While at the University of California at Davis, he was consumed by his study of every scientific discipline impacting grape growing and winemaking (enology, viticulture, plant physiology and hydrologic science). Since then, Craig has worked with countless grape varieties from California’s top vineyard sites. From assistant winemaking to vineyard consulting, to overseeing entire vineyard and winemaking operations, Craig has established a reputation for being a winemaker deeply involved in every detail of both farming and the cellar.
Craig currently oversees all of Highflyer’s winemaking and vineyard operations and is concurrently the General Manager and Director of Winemaking and Viticulture for Priest Ranch and the Somerston Estate. He is constantly developing new ideas and innovations while conscientiously maintaining strong, respectful relationships with growers and vineyard workers, many of whom have worked the property for decades.
But what really makes Craig special is his ability to blend an artisan approach to winemaking with his extensive scientific training. To ensure quality control at every step, Craig works closely with the growers and the viticultural teams before expertly guiding the grapes in a way that captures the accuracy and character of each distinct varietal and site. He then uses traditional winemaking techniques (native fermentation, unfiltered, etc.) to allow the vineyard site and varietal to be expressed in each bottle of wine.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.