Like King Estate itself, the winemaking team operates by its own compass, with humility as true north.
“If you want to make the best wine possible, you have to throw ego out,” COO and Winemaker Brent Stone states matter-of-factly. “Everyone’s opinion is equal. There is a tendency to make poor decisions when the wine is personality driven. You need a good collective team.”
And that’s just what King Estate has developed. The four people who comprise the current team – Brent Stone, Barrett Rosteck, Andrew Belzer and Matt Danner – have worked together in various capacities since 2015 and have more than 30 years (Coincidence? We think not) of collective industry experience.
While quick to point out that Brent “steers the ship,” they each bring their own unique gifts and talents to the table. Andrew, for example, pays special attention to aromatics. Barrett is partial to dry, acidic wines so he is sensitive to sweetness. Matt looks for structurally complex wines and Brent’s focus is on overall wine balance.
Disagreements are rare and usually are hair-splitting ones around blending decisions. One thing they all agree on is that making the estate-grown Domaine wines is “agonizing” because, as the purest expression of the estate itself, so much rides on getting the wine right.
Barrett sums it up for the team: “We’ve got a good thing going.”