Pam Starr has been the co-owner, manager and winemaker of Crocker & Starr since its inception in 1997 when she helped resurrect the vineyards on the Crocker Estate in St. Helena and established a winery to create world-class wines. After toiling as a winery employee for 18 years, Pam’s transformation at a relatively young age into owner, manager, and winemaker was both rare and remarkable. It required a special mix of skill, passion, and dedication. All of which describe Pam Starr.
Initially headed down a different path, Pam, the daughter of an orthopedic surgeon, was planning to go to dental school, but quickly switched gears while in college at the University of California at Davis. While in school, she worked part time as a flavor technician for a mom & pop spice company in Sacramento, where she honed and perfected her innate proclivity for sensory nuance. She graduated from Davis in 1984 with a degree in Fermentation Science.
Pam’s love affair with winemaking began as a post-grad harvest intern for Sonoma Cutrer in Sonoma. Attracted by the fast pace, the pleasures of working the land and the wine itself, Pam knew she’d found her calling. “I was simply smitten – the way one is when falling madly in love. Winemaking is mysterious, it’s sexy, and it’s magical.” And it’s been her life since.
In 1991, she became the winemaker for Spottswoode Vineyard & Winery in Napa Valley where she worked until 1997, when she left to build the foundation of Crocker & Starr. Known for her ability to translate terroir into wine, Pam ardently believes that great wine must taste of the sun, of the earth it comes from and of the place it grows. In 2022, Pam handed the winemaking reigns to Julie Robertson who plans to continue producing great estate wines
Today, Crocker & Starr Winery is certified Green Winery, Fish Friendly Farming, Green Vineyard and is one of the first wineries to utilize an electric tractor. During the winter months one will find more than 800 sheep in the vineyard working on mowing the cover crop and keep the soil loose. Crocker & Starr is on a journey to reduce their carbon footprint through regenerative farming and green packaging.