As Chappellet’s winemaker for over two decades, Phillip Corallo-Titus has guided the winery’s storied winemaking program, building on Chappellet’s legacy as one of California’s preeminent producers of Cabernet Sauvignon. A gifted winemaker with a passion for experimentation, Phillip has embraced the diversity of Pritchard Hill to craft benchmark wines that authentically express the terroir-inspired complexity and character of their mountain origins.
Phillip discovered his passion for viticulture and wine at the age of 12 when he began helping his father in the family vineyard. This early exposure to working the vines was complemented at the dinner table, where Phillip’s father would pour French wines from his cellar. Building on this foundation, Phillip studied agronomy, viticulture and enology at the University of California, Davis. A dedicated student of wine, Phillip also traveled to France to learn about the great wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy.
In 1981, Phillip joined the Chappellet team as assistant winemaker, where he spent four years honing his craft and learning about the estate vineyards before pursuing winemaking opportunities at Stratford and Cartlidge & Brown wineries. In 1990, Donn Chappellet invited Phillip to return to the winery as Chappellet’s winemaker, a position he has held ever since.
Working side-by-side with Jon-Mark Chappellet and longtime vineyard manager Dave Pirio, Phillip’s approach to winemaking begins in the vineyard. From his focus on harvesting at ideal ripeness to his emphasis on maintaining the integrity of Chappellet’s numerous vineyard blocks throughout the fermentation and aging process, Phillip strives to make wines that reflect both the vineyard and the vintage.
In the winery, he handles the grapes very gently and uses an array of fermentation, maceration and cellaring techniques to accentuate and preserve the distinctiveness of each varietal. "Because I’ve worked with our vineyards for so long and know each block so intimately, I am able to focus on the individual characteristics of each vineyard lot,” says Phillip. “This diversity allows us to enjoy a great deal of freedom during the blending process, while also adding immense depth and complexity to our wines.”
In addition to his role as winemaker for Chappellet, Phillip also makes wine for Titus, his family's label. Phillip lives in Napa with his wife, Laura, and their two sons.