Conn Creek Names New Head Winemaker

After 35 years of winemaking at Conn Creek and sister winery Villa Mt. Eden, winemaker Mike McGrath (above, right) has announced his retirement in August.

Conn Creek, which is owned by St. Michelle Wine Estates, has named Elizabeth DeLouise-Gant (above, left) as its new head winemaker.

Most recently, DeLouise-Gant was the assistant winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Prior to that, she was assistant winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard.

DeLouise-Gant graduated from U.C. Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a minor in Cultural Anthropology. She was raised in Napa Valley and gained her first taste of the wine industry helping out in her parent’s vineyard. She completed the Winemaking Certificate Program at U.C. Davis.

“I am so honored to take the reins at Conn Creek,” says DeLouise-Gant. “My passion in winemaking has always been Cabernet Sauvignon—its styles, clones, the many ways it can be interpreted—so joining Conn Creek is a natural fit. I look forward to continuing to explore the possibilities of Bordeaux varietals with this stellar team.”

The two winemakers will work in tandem until McGrath’s retirement in August.

In his retirement, McGrath plans to hike the 2,500 mile Pacific Crest Trail and to “continue savoring wines that bring friends and family together,” the company says.

Conn Creek was founded in 1973 in Napa Valley and is known for its cabernet sauvignon.

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