Mitch Cosentino is well known for creating Cosentino Winery some 40 years ago.
While Vintage Wine Estates acquired that business in 2011, today Cosentino works as founder-winemaker of pureCru Winery and winemaking consultant for J. McClelland Cellars and O’Connell Family Wines.
Cosentino said he likes the challenge of making wine – and on his terms.
“I don’t compromise,” he said. “I won’t work for somebody that wants to compromise. I do that because I can.”
1. This will be your 40th harvest. To what do you attribute your longevity in the industry?
Determination. I want to continually try and make the ultimate wine.
2. What is the ultimate wine?
Where everything is perfect. Perfect balance, character, depth, varietal content. True to what it is. It should be able to be enjoyed by a very wide range of people. Classic and not (like) a lot of the stuff we see today that’s been manipulated. There’s no laboratory in what I do. For me, it’s an artistic endeavor.
3. What is the biggest challenge the wine industry has faced?
Some distributors and the three-tier system.
4. Who do you most admire in the business world?
In the wine business: John Parducci and Robert Mondavi.
5. If you could change one thing about the wine industry, what would it be?
To differentiate wines made in the lab from real wines and give them another identity.
6. What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I am very competitive, yet very sociable and approachable, and oh, I am not afraid to have opinions.
7. What was your childhood ambition?
To be active in sports. I played all sports (growing up). I was best at football but at 5’ 7” and 142 lbs. today, I was wise enough to not take that long term.
8. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
Shoot a score equal or lower than my age in golf.
9. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
Napa Valley of course, I am where I want to be. Although playing golf at Augusta National would be good today.
10. What’s your favorite California golf course?
Spyglass Hill and/or Cypress Point. Those are my two favorites.