Winemakers: July 2007 Archives

Nick and Gillian Kite

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nick_gillian2.jpg Nick and Gillian Kite, owners of 'Wine Way Inn' and 'The Craftsman Inn' both located in Calistoga started out as high school sweethearts. Over the years, while traveling the world working in Europe and the USA, Gillian has enjoyed catering, restaurant and hotel cooking as well as bringing up their three wonderful children. Nick is a man of many trades, in search of wild mushrooms, diving for abalone, vineyard management, winemaking... and he speaks French!

Nick and Gillian along with their three children moved to the Napa Valley in 2003, becoming the owners of the Wine Way Inn. In the last 4 years they have established a reputation for hospitality, service and most of all great food. Nick and Gillian often share their treasures with their guests, abalone and wild mushrooms to name a few. In a year or two they will be sharing their 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. They are very excited as this is their first vintage cab and are planning to produce a Pinot Grigio in about 3 years when the vines mature.

Kevin and Jill Mittan, Winemakers

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Midlife Crisis Winery


Winemaking is the secret passion of almost anyone who has ever visited any winery or wine region. Drive down the quiet back roads surrounded by acres of vines ripe with grapes and lulled by the silence of nature and all you want to do is somehow find a way to make wine. Kevin and Jill Mittan, owner/winemakers at the Midlife Crisis Winery, admit that the romance of wine and wine country first brought them to winemaking. Jill laughingly recalls, "Friends set up a wine tasting weekend to try a little match making for us. It worked -better than they ever expected - we were married shortly after that - and our passion for everything wine that led to Midlife Crisis also began that day."

Shortly after their marriage, the couple purchased land in Paso Robles with the goal of starting a vineyard, selling grapes for a few years then starting to make wine - an idea shared by many in the mid to late 1990's.