MEET CHRIS CORLEY
Growing up in the heart of The Napa Valley, Chris Corley began learning winemaking through his father Jay Corley. Spending his high school summers in the cellar at Monticello Vineyards, he chose to focus on all things winemaking and winery operations and would in time, assume title of head winemaker at Monticello. Through thousands of visitors of the winery, to scoring dozens of 90+ point ratings each year, Monticello has become a breath of fresh air amidst The Napa Valley.
Although the successes are celebratory, Chris always looks to the future, as the winery is celebrating their 50 year anniversary in 2020, he is always strategically thinking about what clones to isolate for the next reserve or where to plant the next plot of Chardonnay. Chris also takes part in classes to increase his wine knowledge skillset and to continue to expand his wine education. Keeping a streamlined and consistent approach to the winemaking process, he maintains the same philosophy his father put forth since the beginning of Monticello - creating great wines they've become known for, and resisting the need to tailor yearly harvests to industry trends.
Visiting the winery, you can find Chris playing one of the two grand pianos on the property (one is tucked away in the bubble lounge and the other is nestled amongst barrels in the production area of the winery) or enjoying a bottle of Corley State Lane in the wine cellar after hours. On the weekends, you can find him snowboarding or scuba diving in Monterey with his wife and two kids.
Premiere Napa Valley 2015 ended with another record breaking year at $6 million!
I spent an eventful week with Stephen and Chris Corley at five trade tastings representing the State Lane Vineyard in Yountville, Tietjen Vineyard in Rutherford, Yewell Vineyard in St. Helena, the two vineyards in the Oak Knoll District and Next Generation in Wine. Each of these prepared our visiting trade for where to bid on Saturday's big auction day at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.
Monticello Vineyards entered The French Connection under Lot 83 (our lucky number for Jay Corley's age).
Notes from Chris Corley about this wine:
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2013 vintage currently ages in a custom designed barrel with a French and Virginian barrel head on each side and alternating staves.
We congratuate Gary's Wine & Marketplace for the winning bid at $28K!