A day in the life of Winemaker Nathan Kandler

One of California’s rising stars, you will soon be enamored with the wines of Nathan Kandler of Precedent Wines. His winemaking style is honest and straightforward, which allows the story the vineyard is telling to really shine through. His passion is working with old, quirky vineyards. The fact that he's such a nice guy makes us like his wines even more!

How would you describe your winemaking style in three words? Transparent. Site-driven and measured.

What three things are you most passionate about other than wine? My Family (wife, daughter and dog), travel and University of Michigan football.

What’s on your playlist for long days in the cellar? Jerry Jeff Walker, Tribe Called Quest, Black Keys, Willie Nelson, Warren Zevon, The Avett Brothers, Calexico, The Roots  - I've always loved old school hip hop and blues and have recently gotten into 'real' country. I consume music like wine - my tastes change fairly often.

What is your favorite place in the world? I try and make a backpacking trip to the eastern side of King's Canyon National Park, in the high sierra, every summer. The sheer beauty and size and scale of the mountains is humbling. The trip always recharges my spirit and re-sets my internal compass for the year. Closer to home I love the small town of Pescadero and the San Mateo Coast.  

What’s your favorite cellar snack? I'm very lucky. My wife always bakes up a storm during harvest and keeps the cellar stocked in baked goods.

What's your favorite thing about making wine?  It's very gratifying to produce something from nature, especially something that is so difficult to actually control. We are very much at the mercy of mother nature in a lot of ways. There's a certain amount of peace you have to come to terms with, especially regarding the cycles of the seasons and the challenges that are thrust upon you. Every year, and really every day are different. I also love that I can take my dog to work and be outside so often.  

What one piece of advice would you give a novice wine drinker? Don't drink the same thing twice for a year.

What’s your favorite wine-drinking experience or memory? Wow, this is tough there are a lot. The best ones are almost always more about the company and place than simply the wine. I've tasted great 'wines' at crowded stand up tasting that were not particularly enjoyable and conversely had forgettable wines in awesome spots with my wife or great friends that are experiences I'll never forget. I shared a now unknown bottle of wine with a great friend of mine from Michigan on the Sonoma Coast right after I moved there in 1999, It was awesome sharing with him what was then my new home.

Last question, say you die and go to heaven. What’s in your wine glass? If it is Pinot Grigio I will know I am in the wrong place, just kidding. I'd love to be met at St. Peters gate by Henri Jayer and/or Bartolo Mascarello.