Full Name
Chris Graves
Job Title
Naumes Crush and Fermentation
Speaker Bio
Chris Graves is the first and current winemaker at Southern Oregon’s premier custom crush facility, Naumes Crush and Fermentation (www.naumescf.com). Since NCF’s opening in 2015, he has overseen all winemaking, winery operations, client relations, sales, marketing and support services.

Born and raised in California’s vine-covered Sierra Foothills, Graves developed an early fascination with winemaking. By age 16, he knew it would be his career. A 2004 graduate of the UC Davis Viticulture & Enology program, in college Graves worked at a high-end wine store and gained valuable experience in wine and fine food.

Graves began his professional career at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, Calif., serving first as an enologist and then as assistant winemaker. He became winemaker for Wente’s Cal-Ital brand, Tamás Estates Winery, where he took charge of all wines and began blending and designing new styles. Also, Graves was involved at every step in the marketing process and helped build a successful brand.

Graves left Wente Vineyards in 2007 to start a boutique brand, Ruby Hill Winery. Under his leadership as head winemaker, the company saw double-digit growth for years and cultivated an extremely successful wine club. This spurred Graves and his partners to launch a second brand in 2013, Rubino Estates Winery, also focused on Cal-Ital style wines.

Lured by the rapid growth of Southern Oregon’s wine industry, Graves and his family relocated to beautiful Jacksonville, Ore., in 2014. He worked as a consulting winemaker before joining Naumes Crush and Fermentation in 2015 and he continues to consult for many brands in Oregon and California. Graves teaches wine courses at Southern Oregon University and Umpqua Community College’s Southern Oregon Wine Institute and he serves on the Oregon Wine Board’s Research Committee.
Chris Graves