Atria Wine Program
Right now is the single best time in history to drink wine. Great wine is plentiful, offering more diversity and enjoyment than ever before. But amidst so much quality, our task becomes seeking out the truly distinctive. For us, this means delicious, soulful wines that express their origins with clarity, vitality, and grace.
Atria’s chef and proprietor Christian Thornton grew up in the Bay Area, and in many ways our list is rooted here as well. Wines born from the slopes and valleys of California’s dramatic coastline strike a unique harmony with Chef Thornton’s expressive and detailed cuisine. While the ingredients are local, the inspiration is often global, requiring a list that is adventurous and thoughtful, spanning both Old World and New World regions.
As a Martha’s Vineyard native, my passion for wine has long been fueled by intellectual exploration and travel abroad. I lived in Florence during college and spent the latter half of my twenties opening my own restaurant and making wine in the central highlands of Mexico. This winter I’ll complete my degree in winemaking through UC Davis’ extension program. My experiences have led me to a preference for wines that express a sense of place—what writer Matt Kramer calls “somewhereness.” I’m fascinated by the stories behind the wines—understanding a producer’s approach in the cellar or the geology of a vineyard are dimensions that can enrich our enjoyment of what’s in the glass.
Our list is therefore a synthesis of place and story, from pioneering New World winemakers who are taking risks in pursuit of balance and individuality, to Old World producers who are fusing long-held traditions with modern technology to create wines that have something to say about where they come from, rich narratives bestowed onto those of us who are lucky enough to enjoy them.