Charles Banks
Charles Banks

After many years as an avid wine consumer and collector, Charles made his official entrance into the wine industry in 2000 by purchasing a former cattle ranch in Santa Barbara County wine country and planting vines on the property.

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“Wine’s is not only a passion, but a lifestyle, bringing together people and conversations. Charles’ vineyard and its wines became Jonata: a well-respected, high-end Central California wine brand. With Andy Erickson as a consultant and Matt Dees as winemaker, Jonata sprang onto the scene in 2005, with its first vintage earning scores of 95-97 points. By 2007, Jonata wines were receiving scores of 97-100 points.

In 2006, Charles and a partner bought Screaming Eagle, California’s “cult Cabernet,” known for its 100-point scores and years-long waiting list. As Managing Partner, Charles oversaw the replanting of the vineyard and the design and construction of a new winery alongside Andy Erickson. Simultaneously, Charles was also a Managing Partner at the Napa Valley Reserve.

Between the spring of 2009 and the fall of 2010, Charles left his positions as Managing Partner at Screaming Eagle, Jonata, and Napa Valley Reserve to focus on new ventures. In addition to Sandhi Wines, these ventures include Leviathan, a Napa winery in partnership with Andy Erickson and Annie Favia; Mulderbosch, an historic South African winery; Fable (formerly Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards), a property in the Western Cape of South Africa, and a new wine brand that will source juice internationally called Cultivate, which launched in the summer of 2011.

Charles is also Senior Executive Editor of Fine Wine Magazines, which has a global readership of over 2,000,000.