Pam Starr

Pam Starr

Adastra Wines (Winemaker)

Crocker & Starr Wines (Winemaker & Owner)

Following a childhood that included an above-average interest in tastes and smells (she once organized a spice tasting based on the contents of her mother’s kitchen cabinet), Pam went to the University of California, Davis. She graduated in 1985 with a degree in Fermentation Science. She was contemplating a career in dentistry when she took an internship at Sonoma-Cutrer. This proved to be a life-changing experience.

Four months later, she abandoned plans for dental school and went to work at Edna Valley Vineyards. From there, she moved on to Carmenet and after seven years there, accepted the position of winemaker at Spottswoode in the mid-1990s, where she received wide-spread recognition for her wine. Robert Parker cited the 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon for its “Chateau Margaux-like elegance.”

In 1997, having amassed a wealth of experience and accolades working for others, Pam set out on her own as a consultant. That year, on the recommendation of mutual acquaintance Tony Soter of Etude Wines, Adastra interviewed her; her talent, philosophy and last name seemed to constitute a celestial match. They have been working together ever since. Adastra produces stellar Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

In addition to consulting for a number of other top wineries, Pam has her own label, Crocker & Starr. This is the result of a partnership she founded with Charlie Crocker in 1997 with the goal of crafting a small production of exquisite wines. The three wines are “Stone Place,” the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc. Only 2,400 cases of these wines are produced each year. Crocker & Starr celebrated the opening of its own winemaking facility in 2016. Pam is also the owner and winemaker of Bridesmaid Wines, a brand of Crocker & Starr.