Joel BurtAssistant Winemaker, Still Wines
Joel Burt was born and raised in California’s Central Valley into a family of organic farmers who grow table grapes, oranges, almonds, and vegetables. He spent summers working in the family vineyards in the hot Central Valley and in Arizona. After high school, Joel worked as a line cook and chef while taking classes at the local college. Through this restaurant experience, Joel was exposed to wine. He became so interested in the process of winemaking that he quit his job and took a seasonal harvest role at a local winery in Lodi. When harvest finished, Joel became the wine buyer at Whole Foods Market during the week and continued working in the winery on the weekends.
Fully committed to the agrarian life of wine, he decided to enroll in CSU Fresno’s Enology program. After earning his degree, he ventured to Napa to continue practicing the craft of winemaking in this world-class wine region. After many vintages in the valley, Joel has found his home at Domaine Chandon. Since 2009, he has been responsible for making elegant still wines from the traditional Champagne grapes of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay at this well known sparkling winery.
Pauline LhoteAssistant Winemaker, Sparkling Wine
Pauline Lhote is a native of Champagne, France where she comes from a family of farmers. She always knew she had a future in wine and decided at the age of 14 that her specialty would be winemaking. Blazing her own trail shortly after graduation, she set out for California. She came to Chandon for a three-month internship, expecting to learn a few things about New World sparkling wine. She never intended to fall in love with the California sunshine and its spirit of innovation, yet at Chandon she's found an opportunity to learn new techniques, be part of a small creative team, and use cutting edge technologies in the winemaking process. She's been here ever since, learning, creating, trying new things, and working her way up to Assistant Sparkling Winemaker.
Tom TiburziWinemaker, Sparkling Wine
Tom's love affair with wine began long before coming to Chandon. The son of an Italian immigrant chef and retail wine-and-spirits merchant, food and wine are in his blood. Tom worked in the family stores since early childhood, and along with family and friends, made wine at home using a shared press in the garage. After earning a degree in Environmental Studies and Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and an early foray into microbiology, Tom reconnected with the family's passion and parlayed his scientific training into a professional winemaking career. He's now spent the last 21 years mastering the art of sparkling winemaking at Chandon. His expertise in the science of sparkling winemaking along with his creative blending skills have played a key role in the creation of Chandon's diverse sparkling-wine cuvées. Currently, Tom continues to demonstrate his exceptional talents as he oversees Domaine Chandon's sparkling program, carrying on a tradition of crafting the finest and broadest range of sparkling-wine styles in America.