Hands-on Dinner Class 6-9pm, $160 includes dinner with wine pairings, a logo apron & a set of recipes, 14 people max
CHRIS LEONARD, WINEMAKER
Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Chris Leonard experienced childhood family dinners paired with crisp Pinot Grigio from Italy, lean Chardonnay from Chablis, earthy Pinot Noir from Burgundy, or a variety of hearty red wines from Italy. Discovering the synergy created between structured wine and cuisine led Chris to pursue a career in fine winemaking.
Having experienced powerful teachings from a Master Somm and a growing season devoted to vineyard labor, Chris decided the final step to become a skilled winemaker would be to spend years inside wineries gaining ‘hands on’ training and mentorship from seasoned winemakers throughout California and abroad. Learning a wide range of winemaking styles and working with numerous varietals grown in various climates and soils throughout the world would result in an enlightened winemaking skill set.
Chasing harvests, Chris took the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Fall semesters off from college to work with world-renowned Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon producers as well as for an elegant Pinot Noir producer in California’s Central Coast. Following graduation, Chris traveled abroad in 2010 working consecutive harvests first in the North Island of New Zealand and then in the Piedmont region of Italy.
Returning to America in 2011, Chris planted roots in Napa Valley and began working full-time on highly skilled winemaking teams. After managing the busy harvest season, the full-time winemaking team must then age, blend, and bottle the resulting inventory. Although Chris continues to pursue mentorship under select Napa Valley colleagues, he left their employment in 2014 when Tom and Chris Leonard executed their own business plan and launched Leonard Wine Company to supply niche products to the wine industry; the elegant, vineyard designate luxury wine brands Muddy Arch Roussanne and Leonard Zinfandel.
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