In this episode, Jill talks to Head Winemaker for La Crema, Craig McAllister.
When La Crema was founded in 1979 as La Crema Viñera, meaning the Best of the Vine, the name was intended as an unabashed boast: These vineyards produced the very best grapes in the region. Today, the name has been shortened to mean, simply, the best, and La Crema’s wines represent the best grapes from preeminent cool-climate regions in California and Oregon.
La Crema wines—inspired by Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir—are made in small lots that nurture distinct flavors and balance. The end result is elegant wines that are unswerving in quality over time.
In recent years, the winery has operated under the expertise of Head Winemaker Craig McAllister, who has been with the winery since 2009. McAllister continues to nurture and maintain the winery’s reputation of producing high caliber, cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir by overseeing production from Willamette Valley in Oregon to Sta. Rita Hills in California. Along with the production team, McAllister samples grapes from every block of every vineyard, tasting each lot to craft the best wines possible. According to McAllister, the process is high-touch but low-intervention, something that’s a rarity for wineries at La Crema’s scale.
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