Chris Noll & Justin Dumitrescu
Phillip Zorn. Philip was the winemaker at Sunny St. Helena Winery, Gauer Estate in Sonoma, Mountain View Vintners, and Paraiso Springs in Monterey, gaining experience with grapes grown in several regions. In 1998, Philip ventured out on his own and by 2000 had established his own Waterstone brand with a business partner, a label he eventually sold in 2017. In 2019, Philip hit it off with two bright-eyed Canadians Chris and Justin and joined STEL+MAR as winemaker, consultant and friend. Philip’s philosophy as a winemaker is to let the vineyard speak for the wines. He avoids interfering with the expression of terroir and is careful to ensure that overlays like oak for example, do not overshadow the expression of the fruit.
Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
stel+mar was started in 2018 by Chris Noll and Justin Dumitrescu. What started out as a part-time wine hobby quickly turned into a labor of love with the goal of putting award-winning wine into unique packaging using local artists. A modern winery specializing in both scalable volume wines and limited run, single-sourced productions, Stel+Mar works in true collaboration with the very best wine makers throughout California, from Mendocino in the North to Santa Barbara in the South. Each year they personally select the best lots from each harvest; the focus is on wines that are single varietal, unadultered and above all, showcase the winemaker and wine region. Growing up in Canada and being driven by the changing seasons, Chris and Justin see vineyards in a similar light with a distinct cycle of Birth, Dance and Rest. During Birth, soil, water and sunlight produce wine grapes; during the Dance, winemakers turn grapes into liquid art; finally with Rest, the vineyards recover before the next year’s explosion of growth.