Ondine Chattan

Ondine Chattan

Growing up close to wine country in Marin County, California, Ondine Chattan was enthralled with art, science, and nature from an early age. From exploring marshlands near her home to studying insects and flowering plants, her interest in science grew over time into a love of biology and chemistry. The daughter of an artist and theatre set designer, Ondine also was drawn to fine art and spent considerable time visiting museum exhibits in nearby San Francisco. She wrestled with conflicting desires to pursue either scientific or creative disciplines; however, it took only a single introductory lecture on viticulture, at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, for her to realize that she had found a pursuit that combined her interests in hard science and subjective aesthetics.

After her first job at Sonoma’s Cline Cellars, Ondine went back to school for a master’s degree in Enology at California State University, Fresno. Following graduation in 1997, she went to work at Ridge Vineyards, which, like Cline, is another winery known for using traditional, time-honored winemaking techniques. She joined Geyser Peak in 1999 and became its Director of Winemaking in 2010, remaining there until December 2017. Ondine was also the lead winemaker at XYZin, which is produced at the Geyser Peak facility.

The combination of established techniques of winemaking with a winemaker’s relentless pursuit of the new is what motivates Ondine. She sees her interests in sustainable viticulture, terroir, and ‘risky’ techniques such as native yeast fermentations as perfectly intertwined.

Until October 2010, she and her spouse David Reed were co-owners of Atelier, a boutique winery in Healdsburg, where she focused on producing Zinfandel and Syrah. Ondine and her family reside in the Sonoma region.