The La Crema winegrowing team is a study in geographic observation (at times bordering on obsession) and lively, interactive teamwork. And yes – we love to take our work home with us.
Director of WinemakingElizabeth Grant-Douglas' love of winemaking began at a young age in the basement of her childhood home in Niagara Falls, Canada. It was there that her parents made wine from grapes grown in her father’s hobby vineyard out back, and she learned about viticulture first-hand as she helped him tend the vines. Elizabeth first earned a degree in Economics at the University of Waterloo before switching gears entirely to focus on the art and skill of winemaking. She as part of the first graduating class of Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture program.
Always fascinated by the unique challenges of making wine from grapes grown in cooler climates, she began her career working in several Canadian wineries including Inniskillin, Chateau des Charmes and Thirteenth Street, before heading to Washington and, finally, the Sonoma Coast.
Here, the Sonoma Coast vineyards are a natural fit for Elizabeth's experience and specialized education, giving her unique insight on the rigors of grape growing and winemaking in cool regions. Not surprisingly, she is particularly drawn to the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards of Russian River Valley because of the ideal growing conditions it offers these classic Burgundian varietals.
Elizabeth joined La Crema as an enologist in 2001 and was named Winemaker in 2010. She was promoted to her current position in 2013. Her journey of discovery and craftsmanship continues as her relationship with the gorgeous Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris fruit of California's coastal wine regions evolves.
Associate WinemakerOriginally from New Zealand, Associate Winemaker Craig McAllister now calls California home. He's worked in in New Zealand, Australia, Chile and Cyprus and has a deep passion for winemaking.
Craig first joined La Crema in 2007 as the harvest enologist, and returned again for the 2008 season. After gaining even more experience abroad, he joined the team full-time in 2009. Throughout his tenure he’s been a steward of La Crema’s Monterey program and worked extensively on Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. He was promoted to his current position in 2013.
Craig holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology from Lincoln University in New Zealand. His skill, experience, and quick wit continue to enhance the strength of the La Crema winemaking team.
Assistant WinemakerHailing from Saint Louis, Matt earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Systems Management from the University of Missouri, where he focused on viticulture. He quickly gravitated towards wine production and embarked on an internship tour that stopped in California, Australia, Niagara, South Africa’s Hemel-en-Aarde, and Central Otago in New Zealand. Throughout this varied curriculum, "Flick" has rarely strayed from cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Matt joined the La Crema team shortly before the 2013 harvest as Enologist. His winemaking philosophies and years of practical experience made him a valuable addition and he was named to his current position in October 2013. His primary responsibility is overseeing the Chardonnay program.