Christine Havens is a wine writer and former winemaker who has become a Vivino featured user with over 44,000 followers largely thanks to her wine ratings. An early adopter, Ms. Havens has been sharing her reviews with fellow users since the app hit the US market in late fall 2011.
A fine artist and bronze sculptor by trade, Ms. Havens’ wine journey began with a chance meeting in early 2002, when Stan Clarke, the founding Associate Director of the Enology and Viticulture Program at Walla Walla Community College invited her to attend one of his lectures. She turned up with no expectations and very little knowledge of wine—the semester had already been in session for a week. After the class, Mr. Clarke asked her what she thought of the lecture, “I’m pretty sure we can find a way to get you some vocational retraining money if you decide to enroll.”
After completing the Viticulture and Enology program in 2004 with the help of a scholarship from Leonetti Cellar, she relocated to the small but picturesque town of Pullman, Washington, where she founded a small winery with her (now) ex and his family. Between 2004 and 2011, she honed her winemaking style, experimenting with Rhȏne and Bordeaux varieties, she specialized in blends that were well received in the local market. Ms. Havens maintained contracts with many of the same vineyards she interned in, and sourced fruit from some of the most distinctive AVAs in the state, including Walla Walla Valley, Snipes Mountain and Yakima Valley. Of note, she was the first winemaker to have created a private label for Washington State University.
Later she moved into retail for two years, with a focus on the grand cru classé estates of Bordeaux. Her love of Old World wines has since fueled her writing career. In 2014 she left retail to write about wines full-time, her background in winegrowing and winemaking have endowed her with technical knowledge and a deep appreciation for the process. In addition to her reviews, she’s a contributing editor at SOMM Journal, Tasting Panel Magazine, and The Clever Root, and a member of The Circle of Wine Writers. She has been extensively quoted by various publications including Jancis Robinson, Wine Business International, Nomacorc’s wine industry blog, and Wine Press Northwest. She has been a guest on Portland’s NBC-affiliate station KGW, and on WineVine.tv, as well as Vin Village Radio. She’s also received an Editors Choice Fellowship to attend the 2017 Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, additionally she’s twice been nominated as a Millésima Wine Blog Awards finalist, and is currently pursuing an Award in Wines & Spirits Educational Trust Level 3 Advanced Certificate.
Coupled with her writing, Ms. Havens is the the Marketing Director at Cascadia Fine Wines, a US-Canadian marketing firm representing select premium Pacific Northwest brands across Asia, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
She lives in Portland, Oregon.