Christine Hanna is the President of her family’s winery based in Healdsburg and Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California. She grew up at the home ranch, making tiny batches of wine with her father, winery founder Dr. Elias Hanna, in the late '70s and early '80s.
Christine came to work at Hanna Winery full time in 1991, first in public relations and marketing, then taking over the management in 1993. In her tenure, she has directed the winery’s growth from 4,000 cases to 40,000. She has increased the winery’s offerings from three varieties to 14, and launched Hanna’s Reserve program and the Bismark Mountain Vineyard wines. She also refocused the winery on its estate program, producing the wonderful estate-grown wines that have become a hallmark of the Hanna Winery.
Christine has served as President of the Sonoma County Vintners, and helped reposition the organization with its current focus on strategic marketing. She has been on the Board of Directors since 1997, and has served as Chairperson for the Sonoma County Showcase and Auction for 2003 and 2004, directing the popular consumer food and wine event, Taste of Sonoma.
Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in creative writing. She has done postgraduate work in viticulture and enology at U.C. Davis and is working on her MBA in her spare time.
Christine is also an accomplished cook. As the daughter of a Syrian immigrant, she learned about authentic, traditional eastern Mediterranean food from her grandmother and mother during her childhood. By her 30s, she began to experiment with those traditional recipes, updating them to reflect her interest in the fresh, organic produce and artisan food items available to her in Sonoma County. Her goal was to update the recipes to celebrate the sublime quality of the ingredients while imbuing them with the flavor profile of her family’s traditions. She wanted to streamline the recipes for the modern day home cook so they could be made in hours, not days. She has introduced those updated recipes at Hanna Winery events, and published them in the winery newsletter and on the website. Her recipes have appeared in Food & Wine, Savor Magazine, and on the syndicated television show In Wine Country, and she has demonstrated them to consumers at cooking classes around the country.
Christine is married to Jake Whiteley, owner of Flying Goat Coffee in Healdsburg and Santa Rosa, and Bungalow Coffee and Tea in Larkfield. With daughter Abby and son Brian, they live in the Alexander Valley in a restored Craftsman lodge and grow 14 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon.