Kristy Melton

Kristy Melton

Bootleg Wines (Winemaker)

Varozza Vineyards (Consulting Winemaker)

Kristy Melton could be described as a true country girl in her youth, growing up in Canutillo, Texas, raising hogs for judging at the Houston Livestock Show, barrel racing, and being named a rodeo queen. Her interest in livestock led her to enter Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, with a major in Animal Science. A serious illness after her first year there ultimately prompted her to add a major in Biology when she returned to school, so she earned her BS degree with a double major. By then, she was a self-described science geek,. and embarked on a career as a research scientist at the prestigious National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. The pay was low, however, so she supplemented it by working at a restaurant. This brought her into contact with food and wine aficionados and piqued her interest in both. A family trip to Napa Valley brought the realization of the science that underlies winemaking and inspired her to trade in her beakers for barrels in 2004.

A year later, Kristy was enrolled at the University of California at Davis, where she earned her MS in Viticulture and Enology in 2007. She was appointed as Clos Du Val’s Assistant Winemaker in 2010 and was promoted to Winemaker in 2012 after holding several key enology and winemaking positions at high profile wineries. These included Saintsbury where, in addition to her responsibilities in research and analysis, she contributed her winemaking talents to their famed Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay programs. She has also held coveted internships at Sonoma’s Iron Horse Vineyards and Seresin Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand. While at Clos Du Val, Kristy was named to Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers” and Drinks Business’s “Top 30 Under 40 Winemakers in the World.

Kristy left Clos Du Val in 2015 as Director of Winemaking and started Melton Wines LLC, a self-directed consultancy based in Napa. She now is the Consulting Winemaker at Varozza Vineyards and the Winemaker at Bootleg Wines.

A travel, food, and wine junkie, Kristy lives in Napa.