WineMaker Columnists Q & A ’11


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Attendees brought their best winemaking questions to Saturday’s lunch. For the first time ever, we were able to assemble every one of our current WineMaker magazine columnists under the same roof to field your winemaking questions from kits to growing grapes and everything in between. Don’t miss this unique chance to get help solving your winemaking problems from: Chik Brenneman (“Varietal Focus”), Alison Crowe (“Wine Wizard”), Wes Hagen (“Backyard Vines”), Daniel Pambianchi (“Techniques”) and Tim Vandergrift (“Wine Kits”).

CHIK BRENNEMAN is the Winery Manager and Winemaker for the University of California at Davis. He is responsible for supporting the teaching and research winemaking activities. In any given harvest he will make wine from over 50 different varietals. Chik also writes the “Varietal Focus” column in every issue of WineMaker magazine. Prior to coming to UC–Davis he worked as the Production Lab Manager for Woodbridge Winery in Lodi. He has worked as cellarmaster for both Amador Foothill Winery and Domaine de la Terre Rouge in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley after receiving his Master’s Degree in Enology in 1998.

ALISON CROWE has led a secret double life since 1998 as professional winemaker by day and “Wine Wizard” columnist for WineMaker  by night. She has answered hundreds of winemaking questions for readers over the years and a collection of her columns was released as “The Winemaker’s Answer Book.” Alison earned an Enology degree from University of California at Davis before winemaking stints at Byington Winery, Bonny Doon Vineyards as well as Bodegas Salentein in Argentina. She is   currently a Napa-based winemaker for Plata Wine Partners with a collection of vineyards around California.

WES HAGEN received his training from the University of California at Davis extension program. He is the Vineyard Manager and Winemaker for Clos Pepe Vineyards in Santa Barbara County, California, where he grows Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for a number of wineries, including his own. Wes also covers the world of  hobby vineyards for WineMaker magazine writing our “Backyard Vines” column in every issue for the last decade as well as on his blog at

DANIEL PAMBIANCHI is the General Manager of Maleta Estate Winery in Ontario. Many hobby winemakers are very familiar with his popular book “Techniques in Home Winemaking” as well as his “Techniques” column in every issue of WineMaker. Daniel also serves as the magazine’s Technical Editor reviewing all articles for accuracy and blogs on

TIM VANDERGRIFT has been active in the home beer and wine industry for two decades, and has served as Technical Services Manager for Winexpert since 2000 where his responsibilities include product development, technical documentation, translating winemaking protocols for consumer use, and wine education for Winexpert’s retail partners and their customers. He is also the “Wine Kits” columnist for WineMaker magazine and writes a blog on




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