American Wine Awards 2008: Winemaker of the Year
Although Celia Masyczek makes some of the most sought-after wines in Napa Valley—her client list includes small-estate, ultra-high-end Cabernet producers DR Stephens, Keever, Cornerstone and Scarecrow (which has a waiting list for the waiting list), as well as Lindstrom, Husic, Kelly Fleming and Hollywood & Vine—she never imagined she would become a winemaker. Growing up as the daughter of an avid collector and basement winemaker in Medford, Oregon, the 48-year-old assumed that wine would be no more than a hobby for her: “When I was a kid, the image of a winemaker was an old Italian man,” she explains. One tour through the enology classrooms at UC Davis in the late 1970s convinced her otherwise. Now Masyczek (pronounced “mah-CHESS-key”) is an icon, known for making big, intense, classic Napa Cabs for clients all over the Valley, from Calistoga to Carneros, and for mentoring young wine professionals. In 2004, Masyczek launched her own personal label, a 200-case-production Cabernet Sauvignon she named Corra to invoke the Celtic goddess of prophecy—a skill she clearly has when it comes to winemaking.