Grand Cru Selections

LaRue Wines


When Katy Wilson was 18 years old, she made up her mind to become a winemaker. At the time, she was studying Agricultural Business at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

Katy learned to drive a tractor before she learned to drive a car. (Growing up on a walnut orchard will do that you.) Majoring in Agricultural Business was a natural choice for her, but once at Cal Poly she discovered that wine was where she was meant to be. It was in her Agricultural Business 101 class, where she was listening to the professor go on and on about the different careers you could have, when something caught her ear - Wine. Wine is an industry that is agriculture and chemistry. As a winemaker, one should be both creative and scientific. Katy was sold on the idea.

Even in a lineup of top California Pinots, Wilson’s wines tend to stand out for their balance of juiciness and tension. They are friendly, but highly structured, wines.
— Jon Bonne, SF Gate

Katy graduated from Cal Poly in 2005 with a degree in Wine & Viticulture and also in Agricultural Business. She started her journey as a harvest intern at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos, California making Pinot Noir and learning how to keep the cleanest winery in the land. From there it was down under to work for Torbreck Vintners in the Barossa Valley where she made wine from some of the oldest vines in the world. Back to California and the famed Napa Valley, Katy spent a harvest at Joseph Phelps making Cabernet. Down again to the Southern Hemisphere, but of a Kiwi variety this time, Katy worked in Hawkes Bay at Craggy Range in New Zealand.

After a few years of being a nomad, she decided to land on the Sonoma Coast at Flowers Winery. She worked her way from harvest enologist to assistant winemaker. During this time, she fell in love with the Sonoma Coast and truly developed a passion for making Pinot Noir. It is with this passion that LaRue Wines was born.