Kristie Tacey, winemaker and founder of Tessier Winery, is a scientist turned winemaker. A former published research scientist who studied protein pathways, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from her native Michigan to pursue a career in biotechnology, which included working on the Human Genome Project. Kristie eventually came to realize that winemaking was her true calling and after working as operations manager and assistant winemaker at an award-winning East Bay winery, she started Tessier in 2009.
Tessier is the result of Kristie’s passion for the art and science of winemaking. She began handcrafting small lots of Pinot Noir and has added Grenache, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Gamay Noir and Mourvedre. Kristie’s appreciation of French wines — especially those from Burgundy and the Loire and Rhone valleys — has shaped her winemaking choices. Pinot will always be her first love, and in 2017, Wine & Spirits awarded her 2014 Saveria Vineyard Pinot Noir 96 points, the highest score for that variety in the past year.
With a background in microbiology, Kristie is fascinated in the cycle of life; each vintage of Tessier wines captures and reflects one year in the lives of the vineyards she works with. She sources high-quality fruit from a strong network of farmers in the Russian River Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and El Dorado foothills. She then uses minimal-interventionist winemaking techniques to showcase the unique characteristics of the grapes and the vineyards. For Kristie, sustainability is a priority — not only with the vineyards’ farming practices, but also by having long-term relationships with her growers and customers. With an annual production of 750 cases, Kristie is able to give unparalleled attention to each wine.