Dream job

Award-winning winemaker’s secrets

George Troquato has been the award-winning winemaker at Cinnabar since 1990. The Los Gatos native, who graduated in 1985 from Cal Poly with a degree in crop science, made the first five vintages of Testarossa, from 1994 to 1998.

A resident of San Jose with his wife, Kristi, a nurse, and his three children, Troquato says Cinnabar has been the dream job of a lifetime.

“Working with Tom Mudd (Cinnabar founder, who passed away in 2007), we were learning how heritage clones of cab and chard would do at our virgin site,” he says. “The weather was very different then, so ripening cabernet was challenging, given the rainfall and cooler climate. The market was also very different, with more demand for chardonnay.”

Troquato has been making Cinnabar wine at the Stomping Grounds in Gilroy since 2017.

“This is so much easier than hauling grapes up a narrow, winding road to the top of a mountain in Saratoga,” he admits.

He recently launched Troquato Creative Wine Consulting Services to help amateur and professional winemakers alike. He’s already garnering high praise.

Hamish Subramanian, a home winemaker since 2009, says Troquato’s advice helped him make better wines.

“He tasted all our wines and offered super-helpful tips,” says Subramanian. “Thanks to George, our bottled wines will be way better now than they would have been without him.”Contact George Troquato at 408.621.0761 and [email protected].

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About Laura Ness
Laura Ness is an accomplished freelance writer offering travel tips and commentary on the California wine industry.