Meet the Maker - Chris Catlow from Sentio wine
Meet the Maker - Chris Catlow from Sentio wine

This week, we caught up with Chris Catlow from Sentio wines! Read on to hear his two cents on winemaking, the best wine descriptor, and Britney Spears...

This week, we caught up with Chris Catlow from Sentio wines! Read on to hear his two cents on winemaking, the best wine descriptor, and Britney Spears...

Who is he?

Chris Catlow is the cat's meow. A Chardonnay – centric, and highly intuitive winemaker with kind eyes and a sharp wit, ‘Catters’ isn't held back any need for fanciful equipment, and makes his very own wines dubbed Sentio, in an abandoned mental asylum in Beechworth. Drawing on his annual experience gained as a disciple of renown Burgundy winemaker, Benjamin Leroux, Chris has made (and sipped) plenty of Burgundy, carving out a career full of important wine lessons of which he draws from in every winemaking decision. Chris is anything but a ‘paint-by-numbers’ kind of winemaker, and values his palate and ‘tasting’ experience more than any other winemaking skill. You can tell Chris truly cares about great wine, just in the personality of his very own Sentio wines. They're uncompromisingly good. In fact, one might argue, his Chardonnay is 'the best', and if that seems like an overstatement, then you try them and let us know.

Q1. You're a 'winemaker' by trade. What skills do you think it takes to be a (great) winemaker?

Patience and intuition. These are the two most important skills. Intuition that is rooted in knowledge. Some winemakers don't use this as much, or intend to craft this (intuition) as a skill in its own right. Wines made intuitively are more unique and heaps more expressive. They just are. The ability to make decisions on intuition allows you to create interesting wines.

Q2. Winemaking sounds like so much fun! But, can anyone make wine?

Ahh, yes. Anyone can make wine. Winemaking is taught…it’s not like training for the Olympics, but a palate is something that everyone has and it can be trained. Once you understand principles, you can do it. Everyone’s got their spot in this industry if you want to have a go. School is great and all, but a lot of places reward hard work - you don’t need to have a winemaking degree to get involved.

Q3. You are wise beyond your years! Don’t you agree you’re quite young to have had your own wine label for over a decade?

I don't know about that. I'm always thinking of how to improve, I don’t ever want to feel ‘stagnant’. Now there’s a word that sounds like what it is. Stagnant. Like being stuck in the mud. A bit like whoosh... that word really takes off.

Q4. What’s your favourite descriptive wine word?

Chris: Probably "tension”. It’s a universal word, and something everyone can relate to. Tension isn’t hard to explain (in wine) like ‘minerality’ is. Minerality is easily the most overrated wine word.

Q5. Now that you mention it, was else do you find overrated, or misunderstood in the wine world?

I find when people say “This wine would be great with time" is a common misconception. Unbalanced wine is unbalanced wine. Wine can be fantastic both young and old, as long as it is balanced.

Q6. Britney Spears likes to sing and dance, like you love to squash grapes and make wine. What do you think about her current situation?

I haven't heard that much about it, but I do feel sorry for her.

Q7. What do you like to drink?


Q8. Favourite people to follow on Instagram?

@thewineabout she’s hilarious and @influencersinthewild

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