Steve Hagata was born in San Diego; he graduated from Stanford University in 1973, majoring in History and Political Science. Steve began his career in the winemaking world at the beautiful San Pasqual Vineyards; currently known as Orfila Vineyard and Winery. Being under the direction of Winemaker Kerry Damskey for over a year, he learned many things while on the job.
The real passion for the winemaking began while a student at Stanford-in-Italy during his college years. While living there for 6 short months, he realized that there was more to just drinking cheap Chianti; Steve wanted to make it. Years after graduation and after his apprenticeship he got another assistant winemaker position at Ahern Winery, a small winery in LA. His stay there was short, and he realized he wanted to move to a more grape growing area. In 1983, Hagata began as the assistant winemaker under the direction of Doc John Piconi of Piconi Winery, currently Miramonte Winery. A few years later Steve moved down the street to Maurice Car’rie Vineyard & Winery where he remained for 10 years until he moved on to Temecula Crest which after several years, became currently Falkner Winery.
Steve Hagata is known for his famous Amante vintages as well as the Meritage and Sauvignon Blancs, of which countless medals have been awarded.