Eileen Crane

Eileen Crane

Domaine Carneros (Founding Winemaker)

Prior to her retirement in 2020, Eileen Crane was the founding winemaker and CEO at Domaine Carneros. Raised with a keen appreciation for fine wines and haute cuisine, she originally prepared for a culinary career, earning a master’s degree in nutrition, followed by professional training at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America.

After two years of teaching nutrition at the University of Connecticut, Eileen made the decision to turn her passion for wine into a profession. She headed west and enrolled at the University of California, Davis in the Enology and Viticulture program. When she completed her studies, she was hired by Domaine Chandon, where she progressed to the position of assistant winemaker.

Her next move involved a task that most lifelong veterans of the industry never undertake, namely building a winery. Hired as winemaker and vice president of Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves, she was entrusted with the dual responsibilities of overseeing the design and construction of the facility and developing the line of sparkling wines. It turned out to be an experience that served her well. Selected personally by Claude Taittinger for the position of President/Winemaker of Domaine Carneros, a winery dedicated to producing world-class sparkling wines made in the French tradition from famed Carneros-region grapes, Eileen oversaw the planning and development of the Carneros landmark château, vineyards, and winemaking facility. In 2003 she directed the planning and construction of Domaine Carneros’s second winemaking facility, dedicated exclusively to the production of Pinot Noir wines.

Eileen has been a mentor to many women during her career. She advises them to research firms that have a history of hiring and promoting women and “get a job there, any job - tasting room, accounting—just to show your mettle, that you will work hard and be enthusiastic. Of course, if you want to be a winemaker or enologist, you need to have a science degree of some type.”

She is actively involved in numerous wine and civic organizations and is a past president of both the Carneros Quality Alliance and the California Classic Methods/Classic Varieties Society (CM/CV). She also serves on the Board of Napa Valley Hospice.