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James MacPhail

Our Winemaker

James MacPhail standing in front of barrels of The Calling's wines.

James has deep family roots in Sonoma County and a long history of producing critically acclaimed wines of tremendous character and sense of place. Encouraged by his father, MacPhail pursued his calling to become a winemaker in the mid-1990s, mentored by some of Sonoma Country’s most respected winemakers and growers. Through this experience, he honed his craft focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sourced from the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley.

James MacPhail testing wine straight from a barrel

Since 2002, James has produced over 100 different Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays with 90+ point scores, making him one of the most celebrated winemakers in Sonoma County. He gives each of The Calling wines a clear, singular voice, vintage after vintage.

James MacPhail standing in vineyard

Our Approach

Our winemaking mandate is to work with the best fruit the region can offer and treat it honorably, with classic, exacting winemaking. James MacPhail sources barrels from the best producers in the world and ages each wine differently depending upon its unique requirements, fermentation process, and intended style and flavor profile.

All of our Chardonnays are barrel fermented in French oak using wild yeasts, undergo full malolactic fermentation, and are aged sur lie for 11-12 months with frequent batonnage imparting additional flavor and complexity.

Our red wines are also fermented with wild yeasts. After extended macerations, malolactic fermentation takes place in a combination of French, Eastern European, and American oak barrels, with aging time and care regimen dictated by the varietal, vineyard source, and intended profile.

Barrel of The Calling wine awaiting transport