Bio - Elaine St. Clair
Elaine St. Clair
Co-Owner - Winemaker/Brewmaster
Elaine St. Clair’s lifelong love for both wine and beer are quite clear. She graduated from the University of California, Davis in 1986 with a degree in Fermentation Science completing both the Winemaking and Master Brewers programs.
Shortly after graduating, Elaine joined the winemaking team at Domaine Chandon where she started making beer on the side with co-worker, Dwayne Mathews. The two quickly began wining awards at local beer festivals on the weekends. When the President of Domaine Chandon, John Wright, discovered their success he decided to back them into national distribution. For 10 years Elaine St. Clair was Head Brewer and Co-Owner of Napa Ale Works, one of Napa Valley's original breweries, while continuing to make wine full time.
After 11 years at Domaine Chandon, Elaine was asked to join Domaine Carneros Winery as Assistant Winemaker to help launch the winery’s new pinot noir program. She quickly earned a reputation as a “master blender” crafting pinot noirs involving up to 17 different clones. Elaine was soon elevated to the role of Co-Winemaker; responsible for both the pinot noir and sparkling wine programs. Over the next 9 years she built an award-winning wine program earning the title of “Best U.S. Sparkling Wine” by Food & Wine Magazine two years running. She also received thirteen 90+ Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast ratings, as well as several Gold and Double-Gold Medals.
In 2008, Elaine joined former colleague and friend Laina Brown at the new Black Stallion Winery to become Head Winemaker. Elaine’s signature restraint and sense of balance inspired another award-winning wine program; receiving 19 medals including several Gold and Double-Gold Medals. Elaine St. Clair and Laina Brown left the company shortly after it was sold in 2010 and founded St. Clair Brown Winery & Brewery.
And now, after a 21 year hiatus, she is brewing once again. Elaine has finally found a way to balance her two loves and bring them both under one roof. She is now the only woman in the country that holds the commercial title of both Winemaker & Brewmaster.
Elaine and her husband, Chuck, live on their Coombsville estate in the Napa Valley where Elaine farms her small 1-acre Syrah vineyard. Her son, Mitch, is currently attending California State University in Monterey, California.