Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, Kari Auringer grew up enjoying fried cheese curds and local fish fries on Friday nights. A highlight of growing up in Madison was traveling by city bus from her east side home to the state capital downtown with her mother and siblings. From ice-skating in the winter as a child to enjoying Madison’s evolving and diverse food and wine scene, she is proud to be a third generation Wisconsinite.
Kari began her professional career at an ad agency in Dallas. While in Texas, entertaining clients via the wine list started her love affair with wine. She began tasting wines extensively with groups of friends and began considering a career move. She moved to northern California as part of a tech start-up and started taking winemaking classes at Napa Valley College and UC Davis. Onward she went, making her first wine in 2000 with Zinfandel grapes she bought in Amador County. She became a consulting winemaker and had a hand in a number of outstanding “cult” wines in the Napa Valley. She joined Silver Trident Winery for its first vintage in 2009.
Kari’s style is all about rolling up her sleeves and staying intimately involved with every step of the process, from vineyard sourcing and hands-on berry sorting to the myriad details of winemaking, sensory analysis and the infinitely nuanced art and science of blending.
Kari is enthusiastic about Silver Trident’s unique dedication to great winemaking: “from the grapes themselves to the winemaking and blending, we’re looking for that juicy fruit-forward excitement that hits you right away, with layers of flavor and aroma that keep unfolding, leading to a long-lasting, unforgettable finish. What makes that work—and what makes a great wine age-worthy—is texture and mouthfeel. It’s always a journey filled with surprises and discoveries. That’s what makes it so exciting.”