Chris Louton is responsible for producing the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc within the Sonoma County line of St. Francis wines. He also leads the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Sonoma Valley Merlot within the St. Francis Reserve Portfolio.
Winemaker Chris Louton joined St. Francis in 2013, overseeing production of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and other Bordeaux varietals. His goal as winemaker is to create wines that are approachable, compelling, and a true expression of Sonoma County. He elaborates, “I want to make wines you want to revisit again and again.”
Discovering Sonoma County's Terroir
Previously, Chris worked for nearly seven years with Napa’s Beringer Vineyards crafting award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines. As Beringer’s Associate Winemaker, Chris discovered Cabernet Sauvignon from Knights Valley and Alexander Valley, which developed into an affinity for Sonoma County’s diverse appellations and terroir.
"Sonoma wines express themselves differently than wines from Napa. They have their own unique brightness and great intensity. This is a spectacular place to make Cabernet and other varietals."
A Passion for Winemaking Becomes a Path to a Career
While studying biology at UC Davis, Chris took a winemaking class his senior year and the wine bug bit him. He returned to UC Davis to study enology. Chris interned at Schramsberg Vineyards in Calistoga, where he worked for four years as enologist and then as Assistant Winemaker.
Chris was awarded the North Bay Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty, recognizing his leadership, talent and community involvement.