“I believe that wine should express the uniqueness of the land, and the Stags’ Leap wines have
always showcased one of the most distinctive regions in the Napa Valley.”
For Christophe Paubert, Winemaker and General Manager at Stags’ Leap Winery, the identity of a wine is found through the terroir. Christophe’s career has spanned the industry from sales to winemaking, and his impressive background includes positions at Chateau d’Yquem and Gruaud-Larose as well as projects in Chile, Spain and Washington State. But it was the terroir of Stags’ Leap that drew him to California.
Christophe grew up just outside of Sauternes in Bordeaux, where his grandfather was a Cellar Master. He spent his childhood immersed in the culture of wine, and followed his love for wine and science to the Institut d’OEnologie in Bordeaux. After forays in wine sales, wine graduate school, and seven years retailing winemaking equipment, Christophe decided it was time to start making wine again. While visiting some friends at Chateau d’Yquem, he was offered the job of Cellar Master. His position encompassed everything from guiding tours to making the wine. “I was very passionate about this job because Sauternes is part of my culture; it was an exceptional thing to touch this unique wine.” Projects in Chile, Spain, Bordeaux, and New Zealand followed his 4 year stint with Chateau d’Yquem. “You never stop learning. I have done every job there is to do at a winery from pruning to giving tours. Every single person has an important job, and my role is to connect everyone to the greater purpose.”
Today, Christophe’s winemaking philosophy is informed by the sum of his varied experiences: he makes wine the way he learned in France, to showcase the fruit and not the winemaker’s hand, but he applies a technical understanding of each and every step of the process.