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Warren Winiarski headshotWarren Winiarski is a man who tends to see the world as a place of unfulfilled future potential, and his ability to turn potential into reality is reflected in the many accomplishments of his life. Before his world-renowned success in the wine business, Winiarski pursued a career in academia first through his studies at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and later as a Lecturer of Liberal Arts at the University of Chicago. The call of California’s young and exciting wine renaissance eventually lured Winiarski away from scholarly pursuits, but his academic training, combined with this ability to see abstract potential where others did not, helped guide him on the road to the events that secured California’s reputation in the world of wine.

Winiarski’s track record in recognizing potential is solid. CMU, CMU Tech and the wine industry are receiving backing from the man who saw a prune orchard and believed that the land would be better suited to vines capable of producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon wines. At that time, most viticulture experts believed that the prune orchard’s locale was too cool to ripen Cabernet grapes. But in 1976, Winiarski proved the skeptics wrong at the now infamous Judgment of Paris blind tasting. Winiarski’s 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon swept some of France’s most prestigious first growth Cabernet Sauvignon wines and put California on a quality par in the world of wine.