Christine Hanna is the President of her family’s winery based in Healdsburg and Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California. She grew up at the home ranch, making tiny batches of wine with her father, winery founder Dr. Elias S. Hanna, in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Christine came to work at HANNA Winery full time in 1991, first in public relations and marketing, then taking over the management in 1993. In her tenure, she has directed the winery’s growth from 1,000 cases to over 50,000, with national distribution and a robust direct to consumer program through two tasting rooms and three wine clubs. Christine has repositioned the winery’s focus to Russian River Sauvignon Blanc, a consistent award winner now representing more than half of Hanna’s production, and newly available in kegs. She transitioned the winery’s dependence away from purchased fruit to an estate program and began marketing fruit from Hanna’s vineyards to other leading wineries. She also launched the award winning HANNA’s Reserve, Elias and Bismark Mountain tiers, to showcase the highest quality, small production wines made from the winery’s estate vineyards.
Christine is the author of The Winemaker Cooks: Menus, Parties and Pairings, published by Chronicle Books in 2010. In the book, Hanna presents more than 100 recipes, drawing from local farmers’ markets and her own Healdsburg home garden. Her menus are brought to life with 75 luscious photographs by Sheri Giblin, a San Francisco photographer. In sidebars throughout the book called “Ask the Winemaker” Christine answers the myriad questions about wine and winemaking that she’s asked every day by consumers. The Winemaker Cooks was one of three finalists for Best American Cookbook by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Christine’s recipes have also appeared in Food & Wine, Savor Magazine, The Tasting Panel, Imbibe, California Home+Design, and on the syndicated television show In Wine Country, and she demonstrates them to consumers at cooking classes around the country, including Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, Central Market Cooking School in Texas, and Apron’s Cooking School in Florida.
Christine is a past President of the Sonoma County Vintners, and helped reposition the organization with its current focus on strategic marketing. She served on the Board of Directors for ten years. She also served as Chairperson for the Sonoma County Showcase and Auction, directing the popular consumer food and wine event, Taste of Sonoma.
Christine is an Adjunct Professor in the Wine Studies department at Santa Rosa Junior College. She is the incoming Board Chair at Sonoma Academy, serves as the Treasurer at The Healdsburg School, and was a past President of the Board of Trustees for the Alexander Valley Unified School District. Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in creative writing. She has done postgraduate work in business, viticulture and enology.
Christine is married to Jake Whiteley, has two children, Abby and Brian, and a Belgian Malinois named Layla. They live on Bradford Mountain in Dry Creek Valley, where they grow grapes and olives, and tend bees and chickens.