Senior Winemaker Michael Beaulac, a Vermont native, joined the team in 2021 as Senior Winemaker, bringing over thirty years of experience working with premier luxury wineries.
Michael began his winemaking career after a chance opportunity presented itself while he was running a Portland, Maine jazz dinner club. There, his career pivoted when Tim Murphy of Murphy-Goode offered him a job as a harvest intern in 1989. From 1989 through 1991 he worked as a cellarmaster with Merry Edwards, before returning to Murphy-Goode as assistant winemaker. In 1997, Beaulac went on to spend four years as winemaker for Markham Vineyards in St. Helena. Beaulac took his expertise to the next level, becoming Vice President of St. Supéry Vineyards in Rutherford in 2001, working closely with Michel Roland and Denis Dubourdieu. With years of experience and a deep understanding of the Napa Valley, Beaulac became General Manager and winemaker at Napa’s Pine Ridge Vineyards in 2009 where he oversaw the estate’s 160 acres. Beaulac credits his development as a winemaker to working with Michel Roland and Pine Ridge’s high standard for producing quality wines.
Michael’s winemaking philosophy starts in the vineyard. Truly knowing the land, soil, and climate allows him to showcase the exceptionally pure qualities of the diverse estate at Chalk Hill. He says of his philosophy for winemaking, “Be proactive in the vineyards. Let the fruit find its balance. Do not force the wine to be anything it’s not. Let it express its typicity. Once in the winery the wine should be touched as little as possible, in a perfect vintage, we really shouldn’t have to do anything.”
Beaulac has lived in Sonoma County for more than 30 years and currently resides outside of Santa Rosa. When he is not in the vineyards, he enjoys hikes with his wife Cathy and their German Shepherd. He also loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen with different recipes.