Crippen has left Covey Run in Washington to become general manager of Steele Wines in California's Lake County. Steele Wines is owned by Jed Steele, known for his many outstanding vineyard-designated wines, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. At Covey Run, Crippen earned very good ratings for Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Fumi Blanc.
Crippen and Steele worked together previously when they were employed at Kendall-Jackson's Lake County winery in 1986 and 1987. "It's like going full circle," said Crippen, who also plans to release his own label in the near future.
Also starting his own label is Bouchaine Vineyards' longtime winemaker John Montero, who is leaving the Napa Valley winery after 14 years to run his own consulting business. To replace him, Bouchaine has hired David Stevens, who was previously the associate winemaker at sparkling wine house Domaine Chandon, also in Napa Valley.
Bouchaine, which owns 31 acres in the Carneros district, is best known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It also makes small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Gewurztraminer.
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