Aaron Pott… a life of wine

 

 

Click below to view more details on Aaron Pott’s chronology in the wine business…

The Inspiration

Mention Paris to most people and you’ll get a rude waiter story; Aaron’s is that he was ten, and the sneering Monsieur brought him wine instead of the milk he had ordered, because milk ‘ees for babies.’

Education

Enology degree from UC Davis and Master’s degree in Viticulture from the University of Burgundy. Right from the beginning Aaron believed winemaking should also be an art, and was attracted to the larger than life characters in the Napa Valley, like John Kongsgaard and French consulting-winemaker Michel Rolland, who professed to reverse the science-driven trend. Aaron began working for John at Newton Vineyard in 1990 as his assistant winemaker, and along with the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon they also bottled an unfiltered Chardonnay and suddenly wine was sexy again and Aaron was hooked. When Michel came out from France to consult, Aaron would squeeze his 6’3″ frame into the back of John’s beat up Ford Ranger and take notes. What a great learning environment! He lapped it up.

The France Years

Aaron found himself yearning for a French wine adventure. He asked Michel if he could find him a job somewhere. Heeding his master’s call (his mind filled with romantic expectations of pulling hoses around a cellar) he dutifully showed up at the appointed Chateau… only to be taken on as winemaker. So began 6 years of living and working in France, first as Winemaker at Château Troplong Mondot and later director of Château La Tour Figeac.

Back in Napa

Ready to come home in 1998, Aaron phased himself back to California with a stint as Beringer’s “flying winemaker” making wine in France, Italy and Chile. Here’s when he met and wooed his wife, Claire, with his “impossibly romantic” lifestyle, and found another great friend and mentor, Jean-Louis Mandreau (winemaker at Château Latour from 1970 to 1983) who wasn’t so impressed with the lifestyle, but thought Aaron had a lot of potential. Ready to stay in one place for a while, Aaron took over as winemaker for St. Clement in 2001, then in 2004 he moved to Quintessa as winemaker and general manager.

The Rise of Pott

In 2004, we purchased a 76 acre (.2 acres planted) property on Mt. Veeder and began to develop our dream of owning our own vineyards. In 2007 we launched Pott Wine and released our first vintage of Incubo, as well as our first collection of single-vineyard wines in 2009. The 2015 vintage marks the next big milestone for us; when our new vineyard was ready to make wines good enough to carry the purple seal of approval! The 2015 Viognier was released in 2016. The 2015 vintage estate reds, Incubo and Space and Time will be released end of Winter 2018.