Crocker & Starr Winery
Pam Starr has been the co-owner, manager and winemaker of Crocker & Starr since its inception in 1997 when she helped resurrect the vineyards on the Crocker Estate in St. Helena and established a winery to create world-class wines. After toiling as a winery employee for 18 years, Pam’s transformation at a relatively young age into owner, manager, and winemaker was both rare and remarkable. It required a special mix of skill, passion, and dedication. All of which describe Pam Starr.
Initially headed down a different path, Pam, the daughter of an orthopedic surgeon, was planning to go to dental school, but quickly switched gears while in college at the University of California at Davis. While in school, she worked part time as a flavor technician for a mom & pop spice company in Sacramento, where she honed and perfected her innate proclivity for sensory nuance. She graduated from Davis in 1984 with a degree in Fermentation Science.
Pam’s love affair with winemaking began as a post-grad harvest intern for Sonoma Cutrer in Sonoma. Attracted by the fast pace, the pleasures of working the land and the wine itself, Pam knew she’d found her calling. “I was simply smitten – the way one is when falling madly in love. Winemaking is mysterious, it’s sexy, and it’s magical.” And it’s been her life since.
After the internship, Pam worked for Edna Valley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo stacking barrels for a season. Her dream of becoming a winemaker began to take shape. For the next six years she was an enologist and assistant winemaker for Carmenet Winery in Sonoma, a job that taught her how to run a winery from cellar to bottle. In 1991, she became the winemaker for Spottswoode Vineyard & Winery in Napa Valley where she worked until 1997, when she left to build the foundation of Crocker & Starr. At the same time Crocker & Starr opened its doors, Pam began consulting for Adastra Vineyard in the Carneros, Gemstone Vineyard in Yountville, and Garric Cellars of Calistoga, among others.
Known for her ability to translate terroir into wine, Pam ardently believes that great wine must taste of the sun, of the earth it comes from and of the place it grows.
Pam is a member of the Napa Valley Vintners, Appellation St. Helena, Concierge Alliance Napa Valley and Wine Entre Femme, an international consortium of women winemakers. She lives in Napa with her husband Norm, and together they embrace mountain biking, scuba diving, water skiing, sailing, gardening and motorcycling wine roads. It comes as no surprise that Pam loves to work with her hands: you can almost always find her dreaming up new projects and either blending them or building them. She is currently fulfilling a life aspiration to design and build her own home, and is living on her ideal property in an Airstream while she and Norm build their dream house. Pam’s dog Griffin, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, is her loyal vineyard companion.