Katy Wilson

Katy Wilson

Anaba Wines (Winemaker)

LaRue Wines (Winemaker & Owner)

Reeve Wines (Consulting Winemaker)

Smith Story Wine Cellars (Consulting Winemaker)

Katy Wilson made up her mind to become a winemaker when she was 18-years-old. At the time, she was studying Agricultural Business at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. Having grown up on a walnut orchard, Katy learned to drive a tractor before she learned to drive a car. Agricultural Business was a natural choice as a major for her, but once at Cal Poly she discovered that wine was where she was meant to be.

It was in her Agricultural Business 101 class, when she was listening to the professor go on and on about the different careers you can have in the field, when something caught her attention. Wine! It’s an industry that combines both agriculture and chemistry and is a very social industry. Moreover, as a winemaker, one needs to be both creative and scientific. All of these characteristics appealed to her, and it was then that Katy realized that winemaking was a career that was perfectly suited to her.

She graduated from Cal Poly in 2005 with majors in Wine & Viticulture and also in Agricultural Business. She then started her journey in the industry as a harvest intern at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos, CA, making Pinot Noir and learning how to keep the cleanest winery in the land. From there she traveled “down under” to work for Torbreck Vintners in the Barossa Valley, where she made wine from some of the oldest vines in the world. Then it was back to California and the famed Napa Valley, where Katy spent a harvest at Joseph Phelps making Cabernet Sauvignon. Again returning to the Southern Hemisphere, but opting for a Kiwi destination this time, she worked in Hawkes Bay at Craggy Range in New Zealand.

After a few years of being a nomad, she landed on the Sonoma Coast at Flowers Winery, making distinguished Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There, Katy worked her way up from harvest enologist to assistant winemaker. She fell in love with the Sonoma Coast during this time, and truly developed a passion for making Pinot Noir. But ever wanting a challenge, Katy decided to diversify and moved on to work for Kamen Estate Wines in 2009 as the associate winemaker, making big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah for five years. While there, she also made her winemaking dreams reality with the release of Pinot Noirs under the LaRue Wines label.

She joined forces with Banshee Wines from 2012–2018 to consult and help craft their vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs. She joined Anaba Vineyards and Winery in 2014 as co-winemaker and became its winemaker in 2020. Anaba produces Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and Rhône-style wines. She is also a consulting winemaker for Reeve Wines, Smith Story Wine Cellars, and BloodRoot Cellars.

Katy’s talent for producing high-quality vintages of this varietal is exemplified by her 2010 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, which led to her being acclaimed as a “Winemaker to Watch” by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2013.