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Gavin Chanin leaves Au Bon Climat for Price

Gavin Chanin, assistant winemaker at Santa Barbara wineries Au Bon Climat and Qupé for eight years, has left to launch a winery with Bill Price, whose Classic Wines portfolio includes Durell Vineyard and a share of Kistler.

Gavin Chanin (left) Bill Price (right)

Price Chanin Vineyards, their joint venture, will produce single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, focusing on lower alcohol and higher acidity. The wine will be made at Bien Nacido, a new winery in Santa Maria.

‘I’ve always leaned toward lower alcohol, terroir-driven, more natural winemaking,’ Chanin told Decanter.com.

‘Bill and I are both passionate about finding the best possible fruit from the best possible sites, which is why I think this collaboration works so well. We’ll be working with some of the oldest vineyards in California to revisit what makes these regions so special.’

The first wine from the partnership will be released in 2013 – about 1400 cases of Pinot Noir from Durell Vineyard and La Rinconada Vineyard in Santa Rita Hills. They will also make about 200 cases of 2012 Chardonnay, with fruit from Sanford & Benedict (a supplier of Au Bon Climat).

Chanin, 27, was named by Forbes magazine as one of the ‘30 under 30’ people to watch in food and wine. He was trained by Jim Clendenen, Bob Lindquist, Jim Adelman and Enrique Rodriguez – while earning an undergraduate degree in art from UCLA. He will continue to make wine under his own label, Chanin Wine Co.

Price co-founded private equity firm Texas Pacific Group (now TPG Capital), from which he retired in 2009. His holding company also comprises Three Sticks, Bucella Winery and Price Family Vineyards. He is also chairman of VinCraft, which owns Gary Farrell and a controlling interest in Kosta Browne.

Written by Maggie Rosen

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