Kris Curran

Kris Curran

D'Alfonso-Curran Wines (Winemaker & Owner)

When winemaker Kris Curran was growing up in California’s Santa Ynez Valley, she spent a lot of time working with animals. But by the time she earned a degree in animal science at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo in 1994, she knew she wanted to be a winemaker. Kris subsequently earned another bachelor’s degree – this one in enology – from California State University, Fresno in 1996.

After stints at Cambria Winery and Koehler Winery, both in Santa Barbara County, Kris became the first winemaker at Sea Smoke Cellars a cult Pinot Noir producer in the Santa Rita Hills. In 2008 she joined Foley Estates, where she oversaw production of 20,000 to 30,000 cases per year, until her departure in October 2010.

In 1997, she started her own label, Curran Wines, which now is part of D’Alfonso-Curran. Kris operates this wine project with her husband, winemaker Bruno D’Alfonso. The Curran label focuses on Spanish grape varieties and includes Syrah, Tempranillo, Grenache, Sangiovese, and Pinot Noir. It was under this label that she was the first California vintner to popularize Grenache Blanc in 2003.