Winemaking. Life. The Dirt. Alison Crowe is a Winemaker Based in Napa.


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Alison Crowe, Winemaker

What’s This?

This is the blog of Alison Crowe, Winemaker for Garnet Vineyards and a few other select wineries and projects.

So What’s Here?

“Winemaking.  Life.  The Dirt”  You get a peek into the life of a winemaker, the science and art of grape growing and winemaking, wine country living, winemaker confessions, wine myths demystified…. plus perhaps a little controversy, a sprinkling of wine biz gossip and hopefully lots of conversation!

No wine snobs, no marketing or PR suits, just real dirt from a real winemaker, unfined and unfiltered.

I’ve always liked to give people straight talk about wine as I believe there is just too much confusion and not enough plain language being used to discuss wine and winemaking.

I also thought it was high time a winemaker dished some dirt and wasn’t afraid of sharing with the world that no, we don’t wash our grapes before they go into the crusher (see previous blog posts)….

I grew up near Santa Barbara’s wine country in a little surf town called Carpinteria and am a UCDavis Department of Viticulture & Enology, Spanish and MBA graduate.  My first winemaking gig was at Chalone Vineyard where I learned classic Pinot Noir winemaking techniques from Michael McNeill, Michael Michaud and Ed Kurtzman.  I then moved on to Byington Winery where I got to work with the Pinot Noir perfectionist, the late, great Don Blackburn. From there I rolled on down the hill to hang out at the Loony Bin, oh, I mean Bonny Doon Vineyards, for about five years where I imbibed (and learned how to make) the Kool Aid at the feet of the master, Jester in Chief Randall Grahm.  After a harvest in Argentina working with Michel Rolland (a sort of a rehab or detox, if you will), I settled in Napa where I consult for a number of wine brands and projects, including Garnet Vineyards.  I get to make Pinot Noir (and other varietals) from Napa, Sonoma and the Central Coast and I couldn’t be more entertained with this wonderful and wacky world of wine.  My goal with this blog is to share some of that with you.

In addition to making wine, I also write about wine and winemaking.   My first ever wine writing gig was a consumer-focused wine column in the Davis Enterprise when I was a college student.  Since 1998, I’ve written the “Wine Wizard” technical Q&A column for WineMaker Magazine, I published The Wine Maker’s Answer Book in 2007 and still write the occasional article over at Wine Business Monthly.

I live in downtown Napa in an 1898 Victorian house with my very supportive husband, wine educator and photographer Chris Purdy, our two small boys, two cats and our trusty vineyard dog, Kona.

Girl and the Grape is all about  “Winemaking, life, the dirt”!

Come play in the sandbox with me on Twitter and Facebook too.


Above photo credit: Wilfred Wong

Photo Note:  All photos on this site are copyright Alison Crowe or Chris Purdy Photography, are otherwise attributed or come from free/fair use sources.

Copyright Alison Crowe

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