Blake Kuhn, Winemaker
A native Californian, Blake graduated in 1995 from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in biology and environmental sciences. He subsequently spent three years traveling the world as a field biologist, studying insects, parasites and wolves. Returning to Santa Barbara in 1997, Blake worked on an abalone farm and took a second job as a waiter at Citronelle restaurant, where his interest in wine was stoked. He ended up as manager and wine steward at Citronelle.
While he immersed himself in the South Coast wine scene, he also began taking viticulture and enology classes at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, and in 2000 moved to Davis to further his wine education at UC Davis. At the same time, he accepted an entry level job with Toasted Head, beginning as a grape sampler in the vineyard.
At Toasted Head, Blake went from vineyard sampler and lab tech to assistant winemaker/barrel enologist, then became winemaker in 2003, and ended up training the next crop of assistant winemakers and enolgists. In 2006 he was promoted to senior winemaker/general manager, and took on responsibility for all aspects of wine production, from grape harvest to bottling of over 600,000 cases of wine. He was also the “face” of Toasted Head, representing the winery with growers, sales, and media people.
Blake and his wife own 10-acres in Templeton, and they’re pleased to be coming back to the Central Coast. “I feel like I’m coming back to my roots,” says Blake. “This is where my interest in gastronomy and winemaking was kindled; it’s wonderful that I can come full-circle.”