Drake Whitcraft literally grew up in the wine industry. Before he was born his father Chris was running one of Southern California’s best wine shops and just beginning to dabble in serious wine production with the help of his friend Burt Williams. By 1985 Chris had Whitcraft Vineyard up and running and Drake was 3. By the time Drake was 9 he was running the filler on the hand bottling line, and helping at harvest to create some of Santa Barbara counties best Pinots and Chardonnay’s. Chris garnered countless accolades and had numerous wines score in the mid 90 pt range in the early and mid 90’s, and was named California Winemaker of the year in 1999, honored at Hearst Castle with the speech given by Brooks Firestone.
By 2000 all of Chris’s wines were allocated. At age 18 Drake was full time in the cellar, after his father suffered an illness that left him bedridden for the 2001 harvest. By 2008 at age 26 Drake had taken over every aspect of running the vineyard out of necessity due to his fathers illness and subsequent passing. By 2011 Drake had begun to steer the vineyard back towards consistent great wines, with most of the production once again allocated, and now holds placements at the countries top restaurants, many of them Michelin 2-3 stars. Drakes philosophy is that of his fathers and Burt Williams- Any attempt to improve on what Mother Nature gives you is futile and you and whatever you are attempting will suffer because of it.