Bios

Joshua Klapper

Founder & Winemaker


As one of the youngest servers ever to work at the acclaimed restaurant Café Boulud, Joshua Klapper participated in weekly wine seminars that quickly opened his mind and palate to the expansive world of the grape.  It was a fortuitous taste of a 1945 Chateau Latour that led him from Manhattan’s best restaurants to the vineyards of California where he founded La Fenêtre wines in 2005.

Klapper was brought up in Manhattan and though he always had an insatiable thirst for learning, he decided not to pursue college immediately after high school.  Starting his professional serving career at New York institutions such as Coco Pazzo, Klapper soon found himself amidst the elite at Café Boulud at just nineteen.  The restaurant was awarded three stars from The New York Times and Klapper was able to immerse himself in a culinary culture with which he had never been privy.  Throughout his three years at Café Boulud, Klapper became adept at blind tasting, mastered the art of food and wine pairing and was exposed to the most venerated winemakers and vintages in the world.  Three years later he was part of the integral opening team for DB Bistro Moderne where his skill set was further expanded.

Though he had spent time in the classroom at Columbia University, Klapper moved west in 2001 and matriculated at USC’s Marshall School of Business.  The timing was impeccable; he was ready to appreciate and immerse himself in the university system and was also named part of the opening team for one Los Angeles’ most acclaimed restaurants, Sona.  When it opened in 2002, Klapper was a service captain though the talents he honed at Boulud’s restaurants were quickly recognized- he was offered the position of Wine Director just six months later.  At Sona, Klapper crafted a veritable homage to the world of wine with the list he nurtured.  The breadth, depth and quality of the cellar was nationally recognized and earned Sona a coveted Grand Award from Wine Spectator in 2006.

Always one to seek out a challenge, Klapper soon found himself fixated with the idea of making his own wines and made the leap in 2005.  Through strong relationships he had forged over the years with California winemakers, Klapper was able to source grapes from some of the Central Coast’s most respected vineyards for his first release of Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay.  Creating this 2004 vintage  under the label Timeless Palate Wines was pivotal and it further amplified his respect and enthusiasm for the industry.

During the harvests of 2006, 2007 and 2008, Klapper worked at the Qupé and Au Bon Climat wineries where he was mentored by Jim Clendenen, Bob Lindquist, and Jim Adelman.  He mastered the laborious work of picking and crushing as well as the intricacies of blending and creating his own house style.  This demanding work was rewarded with three acclaimed vintages of La Fenetre; in 2008 he took over all winemaking duties for his brand.  In 2009, Klapper introduced A Cote, La Fenetre’s sister label, through which he releases wines that are meant for everyday drinking.

By keeping production low, Klapper is able to manage all aspects of the winemaking process ensuring that his appreciation for Old World techniques shines through in each glass.  Klapper’s own insatiable passion for wine and its place in the world has made him and his releases a favorite of neophyte and seasoned wine drinkers alike.

Klapper lives in Arroyo Grande, California with his wife Chiasa and two children, Lily and Alex.

Klapper, who sources fruit from a tableau of top vineyards, is undoubtedly on his way to greatness.

-Doug Wilder, 5/23/2008, The Purely Domestic Wine Blog

 

Alex Katz

Partner, General Manager & CFO

Alex first met Joshua Klapper when they were both freshmen in New York’s Stuyvesant High School.  While Joshua traveled off the beaten path, Alex followed a more traditional route, earning a degree in Economics and Sociology from Cornell University.  It was during his college years that Alex’s interest in wine was first piqued when he took the famous “Wines” class offered by the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

After working for 8 years in consulting and corporate finance, primarily in the magazine business, Alex agreed to help Joshua with some financial planning and analysis for his business.  What started as a moonlighting gig quickly ballooned into a fulltime position as the General Manager and Partner of La Fenêtre Wines.  In addition to handling the financial planning for the company, Alex serves as the company’s East Coast representative, as he lives and works in New York City.  In the fall, he also puts in his time as a harvest worker, participating in all aspects of the winemaking process.  While his knowledge of wine and winemaking has grown exponentially since joining La Fenêtre, his desire to learn more has grown at an even faster pace.