James plans to make wine as long as he retains his six senses...
James MacPhail Consulting
First and foremost, James MacPhail is a winemaker.
For over 18 years he has handcrafted high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay - in small quantity. His AVAs have ranged from Santa Barbara to Eola-Amity Hills in Oregon - with Anderson Valley, Russian River Valley, and the cooler regions of Sonoma Coast peppered in between. With an industry flooded with novices, James is a reputable veteran. His long history of success making premium wines for his own label (and others) has primed James MacPhail to offer this expertise as a high-end wine consultant, and so ‘Wines by James MacPhail, LLC’ was born. Undoubtedly dedicated and committed to his craft, James has produced over 100 different Pinots and Chardonnays (also a Merlot and a Cab!) with 90+ point scores -- making him one of the only few members of the 90+/90+ Club in Sonoma County.
James realized that winemaking satisfied his interest in the things that motivated him and kept his interests keen: the local land, art, business - and the desire to create. So it seemed natural for him to launched his own brand in 2001: ‘MacPhail Family Wines’. His gift for creating exceptional wines was recognized and in 2007 James was asked by The Hess Collection to start Sequana, an exclusive Pinot Noir program focused on Pinot noir from the Russian River Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands appellations. By 2011 he was making 4000 cases for MacPhail Family Wines, and 12,000 cases for Sequana. The hats James was wearing were many, and in the fall of 2011, it was mutually agreed that The Hess Collection would acquire his brand so that James could focus on what got him into the industry in the first place - his love of winemaking. In 2016, after years of intense ‘hands-on’ for both brands, James decided to leave The Hess Collection and take his knowledge and expertise in crafting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and become a resource for others.
“Wines by James MacPhail” became a reality.
Partnering only with wine-growers and vineyard managers that understand the significance of terroir-based, vineyard designate wine, and share his same commitment to sustainable farming, James’ dream has always been to make something from the earth that he can share with others. An expert in his craft, James plans to make wine as long as he retains his six senses - the sixth being his acute understanding of the grape. Throughout it all, he stays true to his belief in traditional, old world techniques and minimal intervention. James MacPhail takes very seriously the honor of being a part of people’s tables. Here, he says, is where relationships are formed, ideas are exchanged, and passions are shared.