"There's no such thing as a 'winemaker.' Wine makes itself. The key is to monitor the process every step of the way so that you make the best decisions to allow it to do its own transformation”. -Christian Roguenant.
Christian graduated with an oenology degree from the University in Dijon. He spent his youth in Beaune in the heart of Burgundy, and was exposed to the world of wine at a young age. His vision is to design balanced wines that may be enjoyed young, but can also age twenty years or more in the bottle. He believes in a hands-on approach to winemaking, going out to check vineyard evolution and grape maturity regularly during the growing season. "Wine is very complex, with hundreds of different aromatics. One can enhance it," he says, "but quality is dictated by the vineyard and the quality of its fruit source." That's one reason Lightpost wines are so distinctive: Christian and Sofia, throughout numerous wine tasting and blending sessions, work to allow the character of each unique terroir and microclimate to shine through.
In spare time, he also teaches and lectures in: Cal Poly University (enology classes), Hancock College (advance enology classes), Enartis (technical seminar presenter and moderator), and Scott Labs (technical seminar presenter). He is native in French, and fluent in English and Spanish. His other interests include Jazz guitar, saxophone, and photography.
Christian has won numerous awards for his wines. His Champagne was served in the 1984 Olympic games. He was a judge for over 100 International wine competitions. In 2017, Christian was voted by industry peers as the California Central Coast winemaker of the year.
Sofia has a distinguished career, starting as a college teacher, then working as a deputy director in the Business Incubator in Russia, helping start-up businesses to establish themselves. She then worked as the deputy director for a CPA consulting company, while having the responsibility as the chief editor for a start-up CPA magazine. She eventually established herself as a successful entrepreneur, well versed in different aspects of business. Her interest in wine developed after moving to California, from the first Napa journey in 2003 to discovering the wine of the Santa Clara Valley and the Central Coast. Sofia has a Master’s Degree in Power Engineering and Finances and Management with a minor in psychology. Eager to learn more, she attended multiple courses in winemaking along with her husband and soulmate John, and eventually received a winemaker certificate from the University of California, Davis Viticulture and Enology program. The ultra-premium wines of Lightpost Winery are the result of the hard work and dedication of the Sofia-John team, joined by winemaker Christian Roguenant.
Proprietor of Lightpost Winery
John has a successful career as an entrepreneur and musician. He started his career as a professional musician, playing music on a guitar and doing songwriting. At one point he managed his own music rental studio, and eventually ventured out to the cell-phone business. His interest in electronics grew, and he got involved in the electronics business. His diverse business interests include electronics asset recovery, electronic recycling operations, music, and winemaking. John continues to support a number of community organizations that directly impact education, animal rights, education, the arts, and music. He still enjoys playing his guitar and writing songs in his spare time.
His involvement in the wine industry was a long path of hard work, study, research, and travel to wine country.