Michael’s start in biochemistry put him on the path of doing difficult things. But after becoming disillusioned with the work he moved into the wine industry, first in the labs and then into the cellars of Napa. He co- founded Ultramarine in 2008, using sparkling wine to examine the soils and sites of the Sonoma Coast. In 2013, he founded Cruse Wine Company to focus on uniquely Californian wines and to further experimentation in sparkling wines. In 2016, he was named the San Francisco Chronicle’s Winemaker of the Year. He continues to be focused on sparkling wines and the refinement of their technique in the New World as a lens to examine terroir.
When not at the winery or in a vineyard, Michael is often swimming or freediving. His desert island album is Money Jungle.