2023 Special Guest Speakers
A native son of San Francisco, Christian grew enamored of early California history as a young man. More precisely, he became captivated by the early wines of California, for they struck him as living archives; liquid time-capsules that harkened back to a more rugged, adventurous time in the Golden State’s history. His first apartment in San Francisco consisted of a simple coffee table, a chair, a bed and cases of wine, many of which he acquired at the wine store where he worked, stocking shelves. His paychecks at the time were spent almost entirely on feeding his then-nascent fascination with wine.
Ambitious and inquisitive, he became a serious student of the world’s benchmark wines after meeting the inimitable Martine Saunier of Martine Wines. Representing such iconic brands as Rayas and Leroy, Martine became Christian’s mentor and profoundly shaped his relationship to the enological world and his place within it.
More recently, he played an integral role as the global wine buyer for DFS and for Coravin, the maker of a sophisticated wine preservation tool, where he helped establish the brand across Asia. After visiting the Cienega Valley in 2016, Christian became aware of the land upon which Eden Rift stands today. Intrigued by its vibrant history and the calcareous, granitic, limestone and mineral-rich soils throughout, his intuition compelled him to believe that Burgundian varieties would and should again thrive in this isolated, windswept mountain canyon.
Chris Miller, MS
A New Orleans native, Chris started his restaurant career at the age of 14, working his way up to the hallowed floors of Emeril’s and the Brennan family of restaurants. A classically-trained trumpet player, he attended Loyola University’s School of Music, then Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.
After graduation, Chris moved to Seattle to immerse himself in the world of wine – production, service, study, and enjoyment. Working as cellar master and sommelier at the legendary Canlis restaurant he befriended Greg Harrington, Master Sommelier, of the newly-founded Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla Valley. The next 4 years were a whirlwind: intense study, honing his sommelier craft, working the annual harvests, and training as a winemaker.
In 2008 Chris caught the attention of Wolfgang Puck and was recruited to run his flagship, Michelin Two Star restaurant Spago in Beverly Hills. Swiftly developing the program into a Wine Spectator Grand Award winner, his role within the company grew into overseeing the beverage programs at other restaurants as well as developing reserve wine projects with Schrader Cellars and Paul Lato Wines.
Over the next 6 years, Chris had the good fortune to connect with and learn from some of the world’s greatest winemakers. Thus began an apprenticeship with Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton in Sta. Rita Hills, where days off were spent cultivating Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
After 20 years of restaurants, Chris permanently traded in his suit and tie for jeans and boots, establishing Seabold Cellars in 2014. Now fourteen vintages wiser, Chris is taking on the most exciting challenge of his life – raising a family.