James Christopher Tracy was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. His father was an automobile dealer, a former vineyard owner, a racing car driver, and a wine collector. His mother has been a nurse, is a master gardener and a great cook. His family exposed Christopher and his sister Alexis to great wines, wine regions and foods from an early age.
Christopher attended schools on both the East and West coasts, and after earning a BA in Performing Arts/Philosophy, he migrated to NYC to pursue graduate theatre training. In 1993, with wife Allison Dubin, he co-founded the Momentary Theatre, a not-for-profit organization that performed in California, New York, Texas, Connecticut and Hungary.
After several years of writing restaurant reviews in NYC, on the side, Christopher attended the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. He graduated first in his class and received a Grand Diplome. Christopher worked as the Pastry Sous Chef at March restaurant and then as Executive Sous Chef of Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs, both based in NYC. While working as a chef Christopher earned his Sommelier Certificate from the Sommelier Society of America as well as the Higher Certificate with Distinction from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. He was awarded the Diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) which entitles him to the D.W.S. distinction. He also holds a CWE (Certified Wine Educator) certification from the SWE (Society of Wine Educators) and is currently a student candidate for the Masters of Wine.
Christopher’s initial involvement with Channing Daughters Winery was as a Wine Club Member, then as a Team Merlot member. In 2001 Christopher began developing several new products and prestige cuvees for the winery. Through the introduction of indigenous yeast fermentations, longer extraction periods, skin fermentation of white grapes, small batches, crop reduction, astute barrel control, and most importantly, blending, he believes Channing Daughters and the Long Island region will keep on growing and producing world-class wines. Christopher’s work at Channing Daughters and the wines he has produced have been lauded by publications all around the world including; The New York Times, The World of Fine Wine, The Wall Street Journal, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, The Wine News, GQ, Sommelier Journal, Food and Wine, Sibaritas, Decanter, House and Garden, The New York Cork Report, The Daily Beast, and many others. As Christopher says, “its just the magic of givin’ the wines some love.” He is now a partner in the company, as well as the winemaker.