Auteur, pronounced, oh-tour,
is taken from the French, meaning composer, author. As a winemaker-founded brand, we buck trends, we are independent to explore – we push boundaries, we care about diversity in our farming, we collaborate, we are brave with our wines, we craft with intensity to transpose their place and time, to tell their story.
My father arrived in the United States as a refugee from the Hungarian revolution. His story of survival and freedom resonated with me early to break free from traditional thinking to live purposefully. Working my way through college in wine shops and restaurants combined with some soul-searching along the way, the discovery of Pinot Noir offered me infinite possibilities. It kept me grounded to enjoy the physical work of farming, it allowed me to push the boundaries of traditional winemaking, and it fed my constant need for discovery. My pathway to Pinot began with exploring subterranean Burgundy, working harvests in Willamette Valley, Napa and New Zealand, consulting for some of the best California producers, then ultimately starting Auteur with Laura. My goal is simple, to make the best f*cking Pinot in California.
No, I never did milk a cow, but I did milk goats. Growing up on 40 acres in rural Wisconsin, hard work and perseverance, with humility, were rooted early. After graduating from UW-Madison, my first job landed me in Oregon. Things got interesting when I met a winemaker at a pub in Portland. Kenneth and I connected immediately. I left my pharma job, spearheaded a creamery then ultimately moved to Sonoma to start Auteur. What I love is discovering the little things, like tiny high-altitude grown berries that have huge, rogue tannins and are wildly aromatic yet still struck with minerality. Over the last 15 years, we have grown from a garage winery to an ultra-premium Pinot Noir producer dedicated to authentically crafting transformable and sustainable wines.