Kris Kato

Head Winemaker
Carmel Road Winery

Winemaker Kris Kato grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he developed “the beer bug.”  But the fermentation science program at Oregon State University led him down the path of winemaking. He’s worked at Central Coast wineries large and small, and notes both experiences prepared him for his role at Carmel Road, where he focuses on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 

“Pinot expresses itself more than any other variety, in terms of being nuanced-driven,” Kris says. He’s excited to be working with Monterey fruit, including from the winery’s Panorama Vineyard. “I love to make small lots of wine from different parcels. It’s incredible to be able to choose the most distinct wines from the vineyard and showcase them in different bottlings.” 

Kris is the father of twin daughters, who keep him busy when not at the winery. He also enjoys cooking with his wife, Jennifer. “I’m a foodie,” he grins, adding, “But the kids take up a huge portion of our time!”