Young Guns of Napa: Christopher Vandendriessche

Chris grew up running through vineyards—his father, Henri, founded White Rock in 1971—but it wasn’t until he began brewing beer in college that Chris became interested in fermentation. He now works closely with his brother, Michael, who manages the estate’s 36 acres of vines—all five Bordeaux varieties plus Chardonnay—and with his father, who’s still intimately involved with day-to-day operations. Chris believes the white volcanic tufa of his soil makes for a unique expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, and he looks back to his family’s roots in France as a guide for his winemaking philosophy. “One of the most important things I learned in France is the concept of balance in wine; making wines that are complex, intense but also refreshing, he says. That is something we often lose sight of in California.”

Also watch interviews with Napa Young Guns Becky George of Kelly Fleming Wines and Sarah Vandendriessche of Elizabeth Spencer.