Fine wine is contagious.


Winemaking was not an obvious choice for me. Growing up in Illinois, I had no real knowledge that "winemaking" was even a viable career. Obviously I knew someone did it, but it never crossed my mind that that someone could be me. It was not until studying abroad in France and Spain that I was introduced to wine as part of life, as constant to one's day as food or water, that I began to see it in a different light. Once confronted with the pleasure of wine as culture, and after the dawning realization that making wine could be a career, I set out to make crafting fine wine my life’s pursuit.

Starting with a viticulture apprenticeship in the rural hinterlands of the South Island of New Zealand, then making the move to the big time in Northern California, I have been on the hunt to learn from and work for the best in the business. Internships around the world laid my foundation. Work in cellars in Northern California built my walls. And for a while, the pursuit of knowledge was a goal in and of itself. Learning the art of winemaking and the craft of viticulture (and the ability to travel the world in their pursuit) was its own unique reward.

But as the years progressed, the call to make something of my own continued to pull at me and I sought to put a roof on that house I was building. So shortly after my 30th birthday (and in anticipation of my 10th vintage) I did just that, taking the plunge and bringing in 5 tons of fruit from varied appellations for the 2016 harvest, officially creating the first T. Berkley Wines.

During those years of training it was always Cabernet Franc – and by extension the wines of the Loire Valley – that most spoke to me. Maybe it was their elegance, or perhaps their versatility, that made these varietals so appealing. Maybe it was their varietal uniqueness to the vineyards of California where I am based. Whatever it was, there has always been refreshing quality and an attraction to the wines of the Loire that have left me wanting more. Through chance, some luck, and a lot of diligence, I was able to mirror Loire varietals and procured some outstanding Chenin Blanc, Côt (the name for Malbec in the Loire Valley), and Cabernet Franc in time for the 2016 vintage. Hailing from old vine vineyards in Mendocino, the Yorkville Highlands, and Los Carneros, these wines mark the beginning of a new chapter for me and the start of something special.