Cheers and welcome to Wine Wednesday! Today, we are going to school you on one of our favorite Rhône varietal producers: Saint K.
Saint K Wines was created by Chris Kiranbay. Chris worked in the restaurant biz for over 16 years in Arlington, Virginia, which led him to a French Restaurant called Le Mistral. Once in control of the wine list, Chris got a better understanding of French wines, and took a special liking to Rhône varietals. In 2010, Chris worked his first harvest, at Delaplane Cellars in Virginia (the only winery in Virginia to produce Syrah!). Chris took a trip to Napa shortly after, and decided that he needed to move to California. After a decision to head west, Chris packed up and headed to Paso Robles (“The Rhône Hub of America” as he has called it) in 2010, where he worked bottlings, harvest seasons, in fine dining, and started a wine brokerage. In 2013, once settled in with Herman Story Wines, he started making his own wine.
Making wine had been the dream and goal all along for Chris. The dream was realized after no formal wine training, however, Chris credits his knowledge and palate to all the tasting he did during his restaurant work. Chris’s wine-making technique combines the classic styles of Old World, while employing the artistic, hands-off philosophy of the New World.
Chris describes the name Saint K and how it came to fruition as a result of his inclination to earn a reputation. He says, “Every restaurant I worked in had fifteen guys named Chris, so everyone called me K. I was always one of those people that trouble was attracted to, so putting Saint in front of my name was just a funny deal. The real reason, is the only grandparent I ever knew was my mother’s mother, Kathleen. We always had a strong connection; maybe she just knew I needed the extra attention. When she died in 2010 at the age of 100, she left me a modest amount of money, which is what I used to get to California. So the name really has a double meaning for me.”
Want to try this wine? Try it at the girl & the fig!
Saint K Wines, 2017 Dial Tone Mourvèdre, Paso Robles
Saint K Wines, 2017 Boomstick Grenache, Chelle Mountain Vineyard