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Sinor-Lavallee

Story

Winemaker Mike Sinor 

Mike Sinor is recognized as one of the Central Coast's highest-rated winemakers. Wines made by Mike have scored 96 points in the WineSpectator™, 95 points in Connoiseur's Guide™, 92 points in Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate™ and 95 points in Wine Enthusiast™. In 2012 Mike was voted as Winemaker of the Year for San Luis Obispo County. 

The word that best describes Mike is "Fanatical." He is a self-made winemaker with no formal winemaking education who worked his way up from "cellar rat" through grit, determination and sheer love of wine.

Raised in Visalia, CA, Mike attended California Polythechnic State University at San Luis Obispo with the objective of becoming a high school shop teacher. He financed his college education by working at several local wineries -- an experience that ignited his passion for the craft of making wine. Mike met his future wife, Cheri LaVallee, in a chemistry class at CalPoly (now that's Chemistry 101).

Mike has traveled to France on numerous occasions, delving into the winemaking experiences of Burgunday, Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley. He also took a winemaking sabbatical to Australia's Margaret River in 2001. These travels are integral to his winemaking fabric and outlook.

Currently

  • Winemaker and proprietor of Sinor-LaVallee Wine Company

  • Director of Winemaking at Ancient Peaks in Paso Robles

Previously

  • Consulting Winemaker for Center of Effort in the Edna Valley
  • Winemaker at Domaine Alfred Winery (now Chamisal)  in Edna Valley (2000 to 2006)

  • Assistant Winemaker at Byron Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley (1994 to 2000)

  • Cellar gigs with numerous Central Coast wineries (1991 to 1994)

  • Board of Directors of the World of Pinor Noir event held in Pismo Beach each year 
  • President of San Luis Obispo Vintners Association