Founded by Sarah and Chris Pittenger in 2009, Gros Ventre Cellars is a small, family-owned winery operating out of Healdsburg, CA. We produce vineyard-designated Pinot noir from the West Sonoma Coast in addition to eclectic varietals from the El Dorado region and beyond.

Sarah and Chris Pittenger

We met in Jackson Hole, WY, near the Gros Ventre River. Chris had been working in fine dining in Colorado and Wyoming while logging plenty of hours snowboarding and fly fishing. Sarah was working in advertising in New York and San Francisco, and was visiting Jackson Hole (where she previously lived) when paths crossed at a party. A long-distance friendship was born, surviving Chris’ switch from the dining room to the winery, and his moves from Jackson to Napa to Australia to Healdsburg to New Zealand and back again, during which time he learned the craft at wineries like Robert Biale, Torbreck, Williams Selyem, and Marcassin. We spent several years in Placerville (where Chris was founding winemaker at Skinner Vineyards) and fell in love with the high elevation vineyards there. We now live with our two children (Jane and John Henry) and cat (Lucy) in Healdsburg, CA, where Chris is also the winemaker at Limerick Lane Cellars.

Our Name

At the time of this photo (2009), we were expecting both our first grapes and our first child. We had a lot on our plates, including coming up with a name for our brand. We kept coming back to the Gros Ventre River and Wilderness as a favorite place (near where we met), and at some point, we looked up the definition of Gros Ventre in English. Definition: big belly. Being that Sarah was hugely pregnant, we started laughing. We couldn’t get past it, and that’s how our name came to be.

Thanks to all of you who have learned how to pronounce our name over the years (Grow Vaunt, for the record), the French speakers who always chuckle and say it better than we ever could, and the Wyoming folks who say it without the blink of an eye.

Our Pledge to Give

Our community is critical to us, for well-being, happiness, and mutual support. We support local schools and other type of charities through monetary and wine donations and participate in charity events whenever we can.

One of our ongoing missions is to put a significant part of our resources towards conservation and environmental efforts. Over the years, we’ve organized events, done fund-raising wine releases, and made monetary gifts benefitting The Trust for Public Land, Environmental Defense Fund, The Jackson Hole Land Trust, Caldor Fire Relief Fund, and many more. We’ll continue to come up with new ways to support causes that matter to us, and we’ll let you know how our mission evolves. We thank each and every one of you who has already supported our efforts – it truly warms our hearts. Although we’re tiny, together we are mighty.

In Gratitude,

The Pittengers