Adrien Halpin, Assistant Winemaker, has been an integral part of Odette Estate’s early development. Adrien was Odette’s first hire by winemaker Jeff Owens in April 2012, and together the two have worked diligently in creating wine representative of the estate’s distinct terroir.
Despite growing up far from wine country (hailing from Leucadia, CA), Adrien’s parents fostered a deep appreciation of wine at an early age through their travel to esteemed grape-growing regions in France and Italy. While struggling to decide on a collegial path, a chance encounter with a chemistry class his senior year of high school helped to spark a newfound academic interest in the sciences. When it came time to decide on a major to pursue in college, Adrien hoped to find something that satisfied interests in both art and science– thus leading him to pursuing a degree in Viticulture and Enology at California Polytechnic University: San Luis Obispo in the department’s first freshman class in Fall of 2005.
While at Cal Poly during his second year, Adrien began working at a local restaurant and wine bar in San Luis Obispo where he continued to nurture his interest and knowledge of wine through working closely with the restaurant’s wine buyer before eventually being promoted to Wine Director of the restaurant in 2009.
Prior to joining Odette, Adrien also spent three consecutive harvests from 2009-2011 interning at three Central Coast wineries all specializing in a variety of different wines. When asked to describe the decision to move from the Central Coast and establish a career in the Napa Valley, Adrien likens it to being called up to “the big leagues.”
In addition to a pre-existing interest in moving to the renowned valley, Odette in particular appealed to Adrien due to the focus on estate-made wines, as well as the property’s dynamic soil composition and the unique micro-climate of the site. Furthermore, joining the team at Odette has allowed him to “be a part of something,” in building the brand and the winery literally from the ground up. The winemaking practices that Jeff and Adrien have established at Odette are truly something to be revered, as is evident by the first wines released.