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Our winemaking team brings a breadth of experience to the table when crafting the unique wines at Conn Creek Winery.

Winemaker Mike McGrath


Mike McGrath

Before winemaker Mike McGrath parked his backpack in Napa in 1982, he spent 13 years in Argentina, logged 20,000 miles on a bicycle in Australia, and explored the backroads of Peru. Mike graduated from U.C. Davis with a degree in fermentation science in 1978 and soon found it was the art of winemaking he loved, working at Charles Krug and later at William Hill. At Conn Creek Winery he's found success with a winemaking style that results in lush, elegant wines.

“California grapes have so much flavor, and they have the opportunity in most vintages to become very ripe. The challenge as a winemaker is to capture them at the optimum point: at the peak of flavor and the threshold of ripeness.”

Assistant Winemaker Tom Klassen

Assistant Winemaker

Tom Klassen

Tom grew up in Northeastern Montana, in a region known as “The Hi-Line,” a nod to the early Great Northern Railway route along the U.S.-Canadian border. He received degrees in Classics and Ancient Greek from The University of Montana and Loyola University Chicago, with an eye toward becoming an archaeologist. After a short time in the book business, Tom worked up the winery food chain starting on the bottling line, then into the cellar and the lab. His stops on the way to Conn Creek have included Landmark Vineyards, Merryvale, and Dehlinger. Tom sums up his winemaking philosophy this way: “Start by asking the vineyard what it can offer, and try to translate that potential into the best wine possible.”