Chris is an award-winning winemaker who has produced over 15 varietals of wine, 11 of which were scored at 90 points or higher by Wine Enthusiast.
Winemaker Crush: Where’s Linus's Chris Christensen
by Mary Kong-DeVito
Meet Chris Christensen, winemaker and producer of Where’s Linus? Sauvignon Blanc. Chris is originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He went to Stanford with the goal of graduating and getting a “real job” in banking. While he was there, he went to Sonoma Valley to taste wines and the rest is history.
He did eventually get that banking job but the call of the wine industry was too great. Now based in Healdsburg, California, Chris is an award-winning winemaker who has produced over 15 varietals of wine, 11 of which were scored at 90 points or higher by Wine Enthusiast.
His rule of winemaking is to break all of them—producing bold, experimental wines as unique as he is. Chris was the first to produce an American sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, which isn’t easy. Most grapes grown for sparkling wine are harvested early to maintain their acidity through two rounds of fermentation. When you harvest Sauvignon Blanc early, it's extremely herbaceous.
The Where’s Linus? Sauvignon Blanc continues to break tradition as it’s unfined and unfiltered, leaving all of those delicious flavor particles--rather than a clean, clear white wine--that’s still light and refreshing.
“I want to make wine that can be enjoyed in the here and now,” says Chris. “Wine for the connoisseurs and for the novices. It should be enjoyed at family events, momentous occasions, picnics and barbecues — not hoarded in someone’s basement.”
As an African American vintner, Chris works to promote diversity and inclusion in the wine industry through speaking engagements, podcasts and mentorship opportunities for aspiring vintners and winery owners.
“My wines pair well with sunny days and live music, pretty much the best stuff life has to offer,” says Chris. Order here and support small wine producers like Chris.
Photo: Ramin Rahimian