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Biography of Our Esteemed Winemaker & Founder

Matt Cline

Matt Cline was born in Inglewood, California in 1961, eighth of nine children. Matt graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks in 1979. He continued his education at the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in entomology in June, 1984. Then Matt studied enology at the University of California at Davis in 1985 and 1986.

Matt's winemaking career began in 1982 helping his brother at his Oakley winery; in 1985 he began as winemaker and creative director at Cline Cellars. In addition to his position at Cline in 1986 he joined Conn Creek as the assistant winemaker which lasted through 1989. Over the course of his 16-year career at Cline, Matt was responsible for branding Cline Cellars' unique style of winemaking. Cline Cellars' wines have won countless awards including the 1998 Sonoma County Harvest Fair Sweepstakes Award for his 1996 Syrah Los Carneros, selected from among 587 wines. Cline Cellars has also had the distinction of being one of Wine & Spirits Magazine's American Wineries of the Year in both 1999 and 2001.


In 2001, Matt started Trinitas Cellars where he concentrated on producing premium, old-vine Zinfandel, Mataro, and Petite Sirah. After building sales to over 9,000 cases, Matt and his wife Erin sold the brand at the end of 2006.

Following the sale of Trinitas Cellars, Matt launched S3x (S three times - small, sweet, sips) a botrytis late harvest wine from the Russian River Valley. At the 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition the 2006 S3x Late Harvest Riesling won a Sweepstakes Award. The wine was amongst 4,235 wines from over 1,500 wineries across the U.S.A.

Along with the S3x brand, Matt continues to produce Zinfandel, Mataro and Petite Sirah from Contra Costa and Russian River Valley. All of these wines are produced under the three label, which was officially released in 2008.

Since then, the winery and tasting room has expanded and matured, becoming a staple at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, California. Matt continues to focus on the historical California varietals (Carignane, Mataro, and Zinfandel), specifically in Contra Costa County. These vineyards and varietals represent the last maps of what the California wine industry was trying to do prior to prohibition in the 1920s. Matt values the advancement of a diverse and copious number of varietals, as he pushes to move away from the singular varietal trend that is both unsustainable and not historically accurate. To Matt and thousands of years of winemakers before him, blending varietals and finding a perfect balance between the grapes, is what winemaking is all about.

When Matt is not racking and perfecting his winemaking techniques, he enjoys fly fishing, gardening, and celebrating with good food and wine with his family and friends.

Three Wine Company

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