Winemaker & Culinary Influence

Inspired by Culinary & Blended to Perfection - Cloudfall wines are artfully crafted to be the perfect pairing choice for fresh California cuisine. The wines are developed through a unique collaboration between our winemaker, Christine Marchi, and our Executive Chef, James Houghton.


Christine Marchi

With a Polish mother and Italian father, food has always been a central part of winemaker Christine Marchi’s life. “We used to have eclectic family dinners,” she says. “The menu always came first and then we’d select the perfect wines to compliment the meal. I remember tagging along to the wine store with my dad. I was too young to drink, but I noticed his careful deliberation and understood from an early age how important wine is to food.”

This sensibility is inherent in every bottle of Cloudfall. Christine applied her love of sharing a meal, her advanced skills in sensory evaluation, and keen understanding of coastal growing regions to create a food-inspired collection that speaks to the palate and of place. Her intuition for the interplay between flavor, texture, and intensity in both food and wine results in blends that are harmoniously drinkable.

Along with Cloudfall, Christine has spent years crafting wines from various vineyards in world-class growing regions, including notable stints with Cumulus Wines in Australia, Villa Maria Estates in Marlborough, New Zealand, Kendall Jackson in Sonoma, and Rutherford Hill and Beringer in Napa Valley.


James Houghton

With nearly two decades of culinary experience, James Houghton knows how to create award-winning meals. As Executive Chef for Trinchero Family Estates, he’s constantly exploring the dynamics of food and wine, innovating exquisite pairings that elevate the dining experience.

James collaborates with viticulturists and winemakers at the state-of-the-art Trinchero culinary center, testing and developing recipes and blends that showcase both food and wine. This innovative approach to winemaking is epicurean-focused and consumer-based, providing chefs and diners with divinely drinkable wines that compliment every creation and please every palate.

A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, James worked under Chef Gilbert Pepin at The Regatta on Cape Cod and Chef Hiro Sone at the esteemed Restaurant Terra in Saint Helena. He spent several years at the Pan-Asian sensation Brix Restaurant in Yountville with opening Chef Tod Kawachi. In 2002, he was named Rising Star Chef of the Year at The Napa Valley Mustard Festival. James also holds a Certified Specialist of Wine accreditation from the Society of Wine Educators.