Mia Klein

Mia Klein

Cimarossa Vineyards (Winemaker)

Mia Klein is among the most widely respected winemakers in California. She is credited with an innate ability to craft wines of finesse and balance from top-quality fruit. Before starting her career as a winemaker, Mia thought seriously about becoming a chef, even taking a high school course that included cooking at a local fish restaurant (Mia loves to cook.). During her last year of high school, she worked at a wine store, and this experience ultimately led her to enroll in the Fermentation Science program at the University of California, Davis; she received her degree there in 1983.

Mia had worked a harvest at Chappellet while at UC Davis, and after earning her degree, was offered a full-time position at the winery under the tutelage of its winemaker, Cathy Corison. Her duties were in both the laboratory and the cellar, and included working the nightshift as a “cellar rat.” In 1988 she moved on to the Robert Pepi winery, where she met her future consulting partner, Tony Soter. She began consulting with several of Napa Valley’s biggest names including Araujo, Bressler, Spottswoode, Viader, and Fisher. Klein may be best known for her work at Dalla Valle Vineyard, where she successfully followed Heidi Peterson Barrett as winemaker.

In 1991, Mia established her personal label, Selene. Selene was exclusively focused on the Bordeaux varietals that thrive in the Napa Valley vineyards. Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc were produced beginning 1991, and Cabernet Sauvignon and a Cabernet Franc-based red wine (Chesler) were added in 2002.

Late in 2019, the administrative burdens associated with having her own label prompted Mia to discontinue making Selene wines. Instead she will focus on winemaking for several small, super-premium producers in Napa such as Cimarossa Vineyards, and doing consulting as well.