Award-Winning Educators, Growers and Winemakers

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Andy Beckstoffer — Winegrower

Andy Beckstoffer is one of the early and most important leaders in the evolution of the Napa Valley to world-class grape growing region. A native of Richmond, Virginia and Graduate of Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth, Andy joined Heublein, Inc. in 1966 and played a critical role in advising the company to enter the super-premium wine segment of the California wine industry, including its purchase of Beaulieu Vineyards and United Vintners, owners of Inglenook and Italian Swiss Colony wines.

In 1970, with his family moved to California, Andy established the Vinifera Development Corporation for Heublein, directing all aspects of vineyard farming as its President. With his subsequent purchase of the company, Andy assumed the ownership of Melrose Vineyard and the lease of several other vineyards in the Napa Valley and Mendocino, vineyards still owned by the family-owned Beckstoffer Vineyards today.

As a Founding Director and the second President of the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, Andy forged an early, historic agreement on grape pricing that tied the price of grapes to retail bottle price. Thus began a new era in which grape quality and land preservation were brought to the forefront of the grape grower industry. To this day, the Napa Valley Grape Growers continues to thrive in its mission to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards.

Andy has made a notable contribution to the overall quality and perception of Northern California grape growing. In 1989, he led the Napa Valley Grape Growers in establishing the Winery Definition Ordinance, which requires that 75% of grapes used in Napa Valley wines must come from the appellation. And, in 1994, as Founder and first President of the Rutherford Dust Society, Andy encouraged and promoted the highest quality standards in grape growing and winemaking in the Rutherford Viticultural Area.

Today, Beckstoffer Vineyards owns and farms over 3,600 acres of highest quality grape growing properties in three Northern California winegrowing regions – the Napa Valley, Mendocino County and the Red Hills of Lake County, which holds significant promise for the cultivation of Cabernet grapes. The company’s commitment to excellence, innovation and to its people is a benchmark for the industry as a whole and a testament to Andy’s vision, his belief in the future of the industry, and in the community in which he and his family have established such strong roots.

Andy lives in the Napa Valley with his wife Betty, to whom he has been married for over 50 years. In 2000, Andy and Betty were named Citizens of the Year for their dedication and active participation in the community. And, in 2010, Andy was elected into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame, the first grower to be honored with this prestigious wine industry award.

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Russell Bevan — Winemaker

Back in 1995, when Russell and his partner, Victoria, started dating in Des Moines, their favorite game was “Guess the Wine.” They would take turns bringing a blind wine and make the other person guess the varietal and region. When Russell look back on those dates, there is little mystery about how they arrived where they are today.

Soon after that, they moved to Minneapolis and fell in with a group of wine lovers whose passion and knowledge fanned our flame. They started taking regular trips to wine country in California, where they met many of the finest winemakers. They were so inspired by them that, to this day, Russell follows many of their principles.

He learned first-hand about Philip Togni’s attention to every minute detail…. Saw how Bob Foley would only pick fruit if his palate — not some lab test — told him it was time… Heard Greg La Follette telling us how careful you have to be when making decisions in the winery because even the smallest decision has an impact on the final wine.

Nearly 20 years later, Russell and Victoria own vineyards in Napa Valley and Sonoma, he’s been a winemaking consultant for wineries such as Chateau Boswell, Chase, Jemrose, Westerhold and Wren Hop, and they have their own winery, Bevan Cellars. Russell’s highly-allocated wines have been top money-getters at Premiere Napa Valley and routinely garner 100-point scores.


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Guillaume Boudet — Winemaker

Guillaume joined Hyde de Villaine as a harvest intern in the summer of 2013 and was promoted to Associate Winemaker in 2015. Guillaume works closely with Larry and Chris Hyde on all vineyard matters and reports to Aubert de Villaine on matters involving winemaking.

Born in Bordeaux and raised in Toulouse, France, His passion for wine was first initiated at a young age by his grandfather, who worked as a Cooper with many of the first growth Chateaux’s of Bordeaux. Guillaume earned his master’s degree in Agricultural engineering, then pursued a degree in winemaking and viticulture from the University of Bordeaux while working for ultra-premium wineries in the Sonoma Coast and Bordeaux.

Guillaume believes strongly in terroir-driven winemaking, which emphasizes the many qualities of Hyde Vineyard, with minimal manipulation in the cellar.


Stacey Clark — Winemaker

 As winemaker for Charles Krug Winery, Stacy and her team work together with the C. Mondavi & Family to steward the family’s estate vineyards and produce the premium, Napa Bordeaux-style wines that this historic family is famous for making. 

Joining the team in April 2011, Stacy came with a love of the art of winemaking and a desire to craft exceptional wines. “There is this amazing legacy from the past, but there’s also a focus on the future, to raise the profile of the winery even more,” says Clark. 

Stacy received her bachelor’s degree in Enology from the University of California at Davis. While still studying enology, she entered the wine industry as an intern, working in the lab at Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars under the guidance of wine legends Robert Broman and Warren Winiarski. 

Something clearly clicked and after graduation in 1983, Stacy joined Pine Ridge Winery, producing premium, classically styled wines. In addition to her role at Pine Ridge, Stacy also assisted in the start-up of a new winery in Oregon – Archery Summit, the Pinot Noir specialist. She later created her own wine company, Galland Clark, producing Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. 


Luke Clayton — Winemaker

Like many winemakers at Rombauer, Luke, a native Australian, started as a harvest intern—though what began as a several-month stint turned into 18-months. When his work visa ran out, Luke returned to Australia and took a position at a winery in McLaren Vale, but he jumped at the chance to come back to Rombauer in 2008—a move that reunited him with his future wife! Having quickly worked his way up to the associate winemaker position, Luke says there are still some things he misses about his home country, most notably cricket and Australian rules football.


Jim Close — Winemaker

Jim Close has always had an affinity for fine wine. His childhood in London would often involve ferry rides with his parents to France to “fill up the boot” with European wines. He later studied at University of Brighton’s Plumpton College of Viticulture and Enology, graduating in 1998. Upon graduation, Jim began his professional career in the southern Languedoc region of France. He joined Tom Gamble in 2003.

Taking his cue from the Old World, Jim’s Gamble Family Vineyards wines are well-structured, balanced wines that express the true terroir of each of our Napa vineyards

Remi Cohen WWET Napa

Remi Cohen — VP & General Manager

Remi Cohen is the Vice President and General Manager of Lede Family Wines, encompassing Cliff Lede Vineyards in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley and FEL Wines in the Anderson Valley. Cohen directs the Cliff Lede Vineyards winemaking process from vineyard to bottle and is responsible for top quality, small-lot winemaking that is expressive of appellation and terroir. In addition, she is a brand ambassador and oversees the distribution of all wines throughout the domestic and international markets.

Born and raised in East Brunswick, New Jersey, Cohen migrated to the West Coast and attended U.C. Berkeley with plans to become a doctor or genetics professor. Upon receiving a degree in molecular and cellular biology, Cohen realized she preferred plant science and enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at U.C. Davis, where she received her Master’s Degree. Cohen subsequently completed her M.B.A. at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

In 2001, Cohen worked her first harvest at Saintsbury in Carneros. She then served as Vineyard Manager at Bouchaine Vineyards for four years, before moving on to Merryvale Vineyards, where she oversaw all of the farming, grower relations and direct to consumer programs as Vice President of Operations.

Cohen left Merryvale in 2010 and founded her own viticultural and winemaking consulting company called Vines to Wine. While running Vines to Wine, Cohen was introduced to Cliff Lede through viticulturist David Abreu, Lede’s vineyard architect. The two bonded over a shared a vision for sustainable farming, gentle winemaking practices, and a no-holds-barred focus on producing the highest quality wines, and in 2012, Cohen went to work for Lede Family Wines full-time as Director of Winemaking and Vineyards. In 2014, Cohen was promoted to Vice President of Operations, and in 2015 was promoted to Vice President and General Manager.

Cohen is an advocate of sustainable farming practices and has hosted lectures on sustainability and winegrowing at venues including U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Davis, Commonwealth Club, Society of Wine Educators, and the American Society of Enology and Viticulture. In addition to writing a column for Vineyard & Winery Management, Cohen is on the board of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and the Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association. She was former President of the Napa Valley Vineyard Technical Group, and is on the scientific review board of the American Vineyard Foundation. Cohen is also a California licensed Pest Control Adviser and a Court of Master Sommelier Certified Sommelier.

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Jeff Crawford — Winemaker

Born in Alaska and raised in Minnesota, Jeff Crawford headed to Hawaii after high school to escape the cold. Fully thawed in 1997, he moved back to the mainland to earn his B.A. in Economics with a Minor in Philosophy from UC Davis.

It was during his time at Davis that Jeff developed a passion for wine. His burgeoning enthusiasm inspired him to take a job as a harvest intern at Gallo after graduation. In 2007, Jeff headed to Napa and joined the Starmont cellar crew. He was quickly promoted to Cellar Master a year later. In 2010, Jeff became Starmont’s Assistant Winemaker and in 2014 he was elevated to Winemaker.

Jeff’s vinous perspective has been shaped by his journeys to less-traveled winegrowing locales around the globe including Oregon, Germany and Greece. “I’m constantly trying to expand my wine horizons through travel, reading, education, conversation and tasting. Every so often I actually drink some wine too. I just received my Level 3 WSET Certificate and will continue to take classes and attend seminars in order to sharpen my knowledge and hone my craft.”

When not roaming Starmont’s vineyards and cellars, Jeff enjoys travelling, beer brewing, coffee roasting and wine tasting. He lives in Petaluma with his wife who is also a winemaker.

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Ana Diogo-Draper — Winemaker

Born and raised in Portugal, Ana moved to California in 2005 to join the team at Rutherford Hill Winery. In the course of her eight-year tenure she was promoted from harvest intern to Lab Manager, and finally, Assistant Winemaker. She joined the Artesa winemaking team in 2013 as Assistant Winemaker and then Director of Winemaking in 2015. Known for her collaborative approach, she thrives in the fast-paced winery environment and excels at a wide diversity of experience from quality control assurance to creative applications such as sensory analysis and blending.

She credits her professional success to a passion for agriculture and winemaking, nurtured from a young age in Portugal when she first planted vines with family and neighbors immersed in the European tradition of wine appreciation: “I always knew I wanted to do something related to agriculture and nature. For me, ‘the calling’ came once I took my first winemaking class. I enjoy the creative aspect of winemaking – blending is a true alchemy and it has been a thrill to discover what kind of styles and approaches I most enjoy.”

Ana holds a B.A. in Agriculture Engineering from the University of Évora, situated in the middle of Portugal’s historic cork industry. Her experience with Old World winemaking encouraged her to explore new regions and varieties, and to study a broad spectrum of subjects.

Fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish and French, Diogo-Draper brings an international perspective to the Artesa winemaking team, but shares that she is thrilled to be able to claim, “I am a Carneros, Napa Valley winemaker!”

Randy Dunn WWET Napa

Randy Dunn — Winegrower

Randy Dunn is one of the world’s most renowned makers of extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignons.

Dunn established his reputation at Caymus Winery from 1975 to 1985, where his Cabernet Sauvignons became the benchmark for the industry. In addition, his artistry shaped other premium wineries that now enjoy an acclaimed place in the sun (Pahlmeyer, Livingston, La Jota and others). Since 1979, Dunn has produced roughly 5,000 cases a year of his Dunn Vineyards Cabernets.

Randy is known not only for his famous wines, but for his philosophy on how to make wine. He does it his way – leaving the floor of the Napa Valley “to corn and melon farmers,” he tends his vines in the red stony soil of Howell Mountain. There are no road signs; no retail sales. And don’t look for him in a winery tour guide. No time for that, as Randy spends his quiet hours making his wonderful heirloom wines.

Randy lives with his wife, Lori, next to the winery on Howell Mountain.

TJ Evans WWET Napa

TJ Evans — Winemaker

Upon completion of his master’s degree in 1997, TJ worked harvest at New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate, apprenticed at France’s 500 year-old Domaine Jean-Louis Chave and served internships with Robert Mondavi Winery and Far Niente.Landing his first winemaking position with La Crema in California’s Russian River Valley, a winery highly acclaimed for its Pinot Noir, TJ’s obsession with Pinot Noir took root. Though his next move to Alderbrook Winery in Dry Creek Valley gave him the opportunity to craft vineyard-designated Zinfandels as well as Pinot Noirs, the experience only fueled his passion for the latter. In 2005, he traveled to Chile to develop a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir estate for Vinedos y Bodegas Corpora before at last joining the Domaine Carneros team as Pinot Noir winemaker in 2008.
“My philosophy is, let the wine express itself,” says TJ. “Just as a winemaker’s path is shaped by happenstance, opportunity and luck, you have to let a wine find its own way.Of course, that’s much easier when you have a close working relationship with a talented vineyard manager like Alberto Zamora. Working hand-in-hand with the viticulturist teaches me what the vineyards have to offer, what to expect, and how to react should things change.”
Kelly Fields WWET Napa

Kelly Fields — Winemaker

Kelly Fields joined Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 2005 as Laboratory Technician and Quality Control Specialist. She was promoted to Enologist in 2007. “I applied for the job at Joseph Phelps on a whim, thinking that my future would be going back to school to earn my master’s degree in forensic science. But then I fell in love with wine,” noted Kelly.

In 2011, Kelly was promoted to Assistant Winemaker and is today involved in all aspects of Joseph Phelps winemaking in Napa Valley, including the planning and execution of all bottled wines.

Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of California at San Diego and began her career at Scripps Research Institute where she was involved with medical research specifically related to cancer and amyloid proteins.

Kelly is a Napa native and enjoys the outdoors, traveling and spending time with her family as well as her beloved dog and cat.

David Glancy WWET Napa

David Glancy, MS — Educator

When one didn’t exist, David Glancy created a Certified Sommelier Program at the Professional Culinary Institute (now known as ICC), successfully coaching more than 400 students to pass the Court’s Certified Sommelier exam.

Glancy’s program remains the only Certified Sommelier program officially approved by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Soon after in 2011, Glancy founded San Francisco Wine School to create the ideal educational setting from the ground up. Read about his vision.

Glancy is one of only twelve people in the world to hold both the revered Master Sommelier diploma and a Certified Wine Educator credential. A certified French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Professional, and Certified Specialist of Spirits, Glancy has earned the credential for every program he teaches, and more.

Previously he managed restaurants in the Bay Area and abroad, taught wine and business management at Le Cordon Bleu’s California Culinary Academy, served on the editorial board of Sommelier Journal and was a 3-term member on the board of directors for the Society of Wine Educators. Currently he is on the advisory board for SommCon and the American Institute of Wine & Food.
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David Graves — Co-founder

David Graves is a native from northern California. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1975 with a degree in biology. After a brief stint at the University of Chicago studying evolutionary biology, he returned to California to embark on a wine career. In 1978, after a year of study of enology and viticulture at the University of California, Davis, he worked at Chappellet Winery as a cellar hand. He gained further experience in the cellars of Joseph Phelps, Domaine Chandon and Mt. Eden. He and his business partner Richard Ward, friends from their days together at Davis, founded Saintsbury in 1981.

Saintsbury is one of the leaders of the Pinot Noir renaissance
in America and is one of the most successful producers of the
previously misunderstood and overlooked variety. Saintsbury has also contributed to the emergence of the Carneros district as one of the
leading appellations in America. Mr. Graves has served as president
of Pinot Noir: America, and of the Carneros Wine Alliance, an
association of growers and wineries. In addition to his responsibilities at the winery, David served as President of the Land Trust of Napa County and served as a Napa County Planning Commissioner from 1999-2007. Today,David is very involved with Napa’s Oxbow School for the Arts.


Blair Guthrie — Winemaker & Vineyard Manager

Born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, Blair excelled in sports and art, playing rugby, basketball and cricket, while pursuing an interest in graphic design. The skills he developed in those areas come in handy as a winemaker today with what he describes as an athlete’s competitiveness, a creative eye and an artist’s enthusiasm for winemaking.

With a national certificate in graphic design, earned in New Zealand, and a post-graduate degree in oenology and viticulture, Blair got his start in wine in 2009 as a harvest intern at Paul Hobb’s Crossbarn in California, where he met his wife, Caroline Stewart. Together the couple moved to South Australia, where Blair assumed a job as assistant winemaker at BK Wines.

As much as Blair and Caroline loved life down under, California was where they saw their future. Returning to Napa Valley in 2012, Blair was named assistant winemaker at Kunde Family Winery, a position he held for three years. In 2015, Blair joined the Stewart Cellars team as winemaker and vineyard manager, displaying the same passion he brings to being a husband and father as he does his work in the vineyards and cellar.

Gilian Handelman WWET Napa

Gilian Handelman — Educator

With a career that began as a Sommelier in the Finger Lakes region of New York in 1987, Gilian Handelman moved in 1988 to production, working seven harvests in Washington State and California. In 1996, she was tapped to create a National trade education program for Kendall-Jackson, and in 2000 Handelman transitioned to a hybrid Public Relations/Education position Paige Poulos Communications.

In 2002, Handelman joined Wine & Spirits Magazine as Director of Marketing and Education where she developed the New Sommelier Poll and their acclaimed event program. After enjoying a retail stint at Paul Marcus Wines in Oakland in 2007, Handelman returned to Jackson Family Wines, where she’s currently vice-president of wine education for the company’s global portfolio.

Lee Hudson WWET Napa

Lee Hudson — Winegrower

The peaceful, bucolic setting of Hudson Ranch belies the energy, intensity and passion of proprietor Lee Hudson. Foresight and extraordinary diligence transformed the land into today’s highly esteemed vineyard. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Lee received his B.S. in Horticulture at the University of Arizona. He then worked with the esteemed Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac, in Morey St. Denis, Burgundy; learning that great grapes from hallowed vineyard sites produce truly world class, fine wines. Lee returned to the States to continue his graduate studies in viticulture and enology at University of California at Davis, where many of his classmates are now his clients. Lee searched for property from Santa Barbara to Mendocino, before deciding on the Carneros property in Napa Valley, founding Hudson Vineyards in 1981.


Genevieve Janssens — Winemaker

Genevieve Janssens learned early that the secret to winemaking success is to focus on quality.  In her father’s vineyards, she followed him closely, listening and absorbing his philosophy.  “My father believed that no matter what the conditions, you will survive by having the best quality, nothing else,” she declares.  Seeing her father’s business succeed in difficult times, when others failed, convinced her that he was right. 

Born to a French family in Morocco and raised in France, Genevieve’s formal wine education began under the tutelage of the legendary “three fathers” of modern enology—Jean Ribereau-Gayon; his son, Pascal Ribereau-Gayon; and Emile Peynaud—with whom she studied at the University of Bordeaux, France.  After receiving her National Diploma of Enology 1974, she returned to her family’s vineyards in Corsica and France, which she managed from 1974 to 1977.  Concurrently, she also owned and operated her own enology laboratory in Provence and served as consulting enologist to many French chateaux in the mid-seventies. 

Drawn to the Robert Mondavi Winery’s philosophy in winemaking and winegrowing, Genevieve moved to the Napa Valley in 1978.  She recognized in Robert Mondavi her father’s holistic approach to quality.  From 1978–1979, she fully absorbed this philosophy, working at the Robert Mondavi Winery as a lab enologist and an assistant enologist.  Deeply interested in the winemaking revolution taking hold in the state, Genevieve continued exploring California for the next decade, holding several consulting positions.

Genevieve’s connection to Robert Mondavi returned in 1989, when she became Director of Production at Opus One Winery.  Then, in 1997, she came full circle as the Director of Winemaking at the Robert Mondavi Winery.

For Genevieve, carrying on the legacy of her beloved mentor, the late Robert Mondavi, is both a joy and an honor.  “With our To Kalon Cellar finished and the new vineyard projects underway, this is an exciting time for the winery, and for me,” she says.  “I am proud to be the torchbearer of Mr. Mondavi’s vision.”

In 2009, the French government honored Genevieve as an “Officier” of the Ordre National du Mérite Agricole, which was established in France in 1883 by Minister of Agriculture Jules Meline to reward services to agriculture. And in 2010, Genevieve received the esteemed Winemaker of the Year award from Wine Enthusiast.

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Allison Jordan — Sustainability Executive

Allison Jordan is Executive Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and Vice President, Environmental Affairs for Wine Institute, where she is responsible for oversight of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program and Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing. She also represents Wine Institute on the National Grape Research Alliance board of directors and the California Environmental Dialogue Plenary.

Previously, Allison was a Senior Associate at SureHarvest and Vice President and Acting Executive Director of Resource Renewal Institute. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Goldman School at U.C. Berkeley and a Psychology B.A. from Allegheny College and is a fellow in the German Marshall Fund’s American Marshall Memorial Fellowship program. Outside of her work at the Wine Institute, Allison and her husband are founding partners of Giordano Bros., a San Francisco based restaurant group.

Molly Lyman

Molly Lyman — Winemaker

Molly Lyman’s fascination with wine began young, when she would visit her father at work and marvel at the tall, shiny tanks and cold, dark barrel chais. Raised in the Sonoma Valley, Molly’s first job out of college was in the lab at Sebastiani Vineyards, the same winery where her father spent more than three decades as operations manager. Since then, Molly has worked under and alongside multiple top echelon winemakers, including Heidi Barrett, Philipe Melka, Mike Hirby, and Julien Fayard.

Now winemaker at Volker Eisele Family Estate, Molly’s winemaking past includes positions as Associate Winemaker at Moone-Tsai Vineyards, and Assistant Winemaker at Paradigm Winery (a position whose alumni include Helen Keplinger and Anne Vawter). Additionally, Molly has worked with Duckhorn Vineyards, Relic Wine Cellars, and Talisman Wines, as well as Whitehaven Vineyards in New Zealand. Molly and her husband live in Sonoma Valley with their two small children.


Alex & Graeme MacDonald — Proprietors

Graeme and Alex MacDonald are fourth generation Napa Valley grape-growers continuing the To-Kalon legacy. In 1954, their great-grandparents purchased the rockiest portion within the historic site and planted the first vines on the property since prohibition. The resulting grapes were sold to Robert Mondavi and included in his Reserve and Opus One bottlings since their inception. Robert Mondavi referred to their grandparents as “the best grape-growers in the Napa Valley,” which today is the only organically farmed vineyard in To-Kalon. The brothers make a small quantity of their own wine called MACDONALD from the family’s 64, 45 and 23 year old Cabernet Sauvignon vines, planted by each successive generation. Only the amount of wine that can be made with their own hands is produced.

Steve Matthiasson WWET Napa Valley

Steve Matthiasson — Grower & Winemaker

Steve Matthiasson is the owner/farmer/winemaker of Matthiasson Wines, founded in 2003. He makes a number of different restrained and classically balanced wines from both common and uncommon varieties. He has been named Winemaker of the Year by both Food and Wine Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, and been nominated four times for the James Beard Award. Steve is a co-author of the Code of Sustainable Conduct, the industry standard manual for sustainable viticulture in California. He has provided viticultural consulting since 1995 to many vineyards including Araujo, Dalla Valle, Spottswoode, David Arthur, Chappellet, and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Along with his wife Jill, Steve farms his own family vineyards and tree fruit orchards in the Napa Valley.

Steve received his BA from Whittier College in 1991 and his MS from UC Davis in 1996. He is a licensed Pest Control Advisor, and has been a member of the review committee for the American Vineyard Foundation, a Director of the Napa County Farm Bureau, a Board Member of the Applied Ecologists Foundation, the past President of the Association of Applied Integrated Pest Management Ecologists, and past Chair of the Viticulture Committee for the California Enological Research Association.

Carole Meredith WWET Napa Speaker

Carole Meredith — Grower, Winemaker & Educator

Lagier Meredith Vineyard is a small east-facing vineyard on the slopes of Mount Veeder planted to Syrah, Mondeuse, Zinfandel and Malbec. Carole Meredith and her husband Stephen Lagier have lived there since they bought the property in 1986. Although it is home to a grove of centenarian olive trees, the land had never been planted to grapevines before. Carole and Steve planted their first vines in 1994 and have been producing wine since 1998. They have no employees and do the vineyard work and winemaking themselves.

Carole spent 22 years as a professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, where she pioneered the use of DNA profiling to investigate the origins of many wine varieties and the relationships among them.  She and her research collaborators determined the genetic and geographic origins of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah and others. This research shed new light on wine history and dispelled long-held myths about the origins of classic wine grapes. Her discovery of the European home of Zinfandel in Croatia, done in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Zagreb, has provided California growers with a source for new clones and revealed Zinfandel’s ancient history as a major wine grape in the Adriatic region.

Carole was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1990 and Chevalière de l’Ordre du Mèrite Agricole by the Republic of France in 2000.  She retired from UC Davis as Professor Emerita in 2003. In 2009, she was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame. In 2017, she was awarded a science medal (Red Danice Hrvatske) by the Republic of Croatia.


Peter Molnar — Proprietor

Peter Molnar began his adventures in wine as a teenager, tying vines during summers on the vineyard where his father grew grapes for Napa Valley wineries. He moved to Budapest, Hungary, in 1990, working with the World Bank and USAID to privatize the country’s wine industry after the fall of communism. Before returning home to manage the family vineyard in 1994, Peter spent four years sourcing barrels from Kádár Hungary, a cooperage in the legendary Tokaj forest that is today owned by Obsidian Wine Co.  He teamed up with brother Arpad and winemaker Michael Terrien in 1999 to launch Obsidian Ridge, after discovering an abandoned walnut orchard on the volcanic slopes of the high Mayacamas Mountains of Lake County, California; an ideal site, they believed, to grow mountain fruit. They debuted their first Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon in 2002 and their first Poseidon Vineyard Chardonnay (Carneros) the following year.

When not in the vineyard or at the cooperage, you can find Peter sailing the open ocean, traveling to remote winemaking regions, or contributing to various philanthropic causes. He resides in Berkeley with his wife, Jess, 15-year-old twins, Esther and Gabriel, and dog, Jericho.

Bill Nancarrow WWET Napa

Bill Nancarrow — Winemaker

Bill Nancarrow’s ascent to his role as Winemaker for Napa Valley’s Goosecross Cellars is a colorful tale that includes stints on four different continents. A native of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, Bill graduated from college with a degree in hotel management. His early interest in wine and food soon led him to Capetown, South Africa managing one of the city’s fine dining establishments known for its stellar wine list. Bill soon became a scholar of the wines of the region, eventually passing the rigorous Cape Wine Academy Diploma 1 in winemaking and viticulture.

Hungry to learn more, Bill next set his sights on France, backpacking his way through some of that country’s most celebrated winegrowing regions including Alsace, Champagne, Chablis, Beaune and Bordeaux to name a few. He then made his way to the UK where he worked as a Vineyard Manager at Thorncraft Vineyards south of London. Bill returned to New Zealand in time for his first crush there in 1995.

He worked at Huthlee Estate Vineyards overseeing winemaking, viticulture, then at the renowned Pask Winery in Hawkes Bay. Bill credits Winemaker-Director Kate Radburnd, one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed winemakers, as having a profound influence on his winemaking approach – one that emphasizes regional and varietal authenticity and always with an eye to sustainability.

Keen to experience a Northern Hemisphere vintage, Bill travelled to Napa Valley in 2001. He worked at Duckhorn Vineyards, quickly rising to Assistant Winemaker. In 2003 he became Winemaker for sister brand Paraduxx while continuing his Assistant Winemaking duties at Duckhorn.  In 2007, he was promoted to Executive Winemaker of Duckhorn Wine Company’s Napa Valley properties – a post he held until 2013, when he signed on as Winemaker for Goosecross Cellars.

Tegan Passalacqua WWET Napa Valley

Tegan Passalacqua — Winemaker

A veritable human viticultural vade mecum, Tegan has a passion for old vine vineyards and the wines they produce.  After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Sacramento State in 2001, Tegan got his start in the wine business as a lab technician at Napa Wine Company, supplemented by night classes in Viticulture & Oenology at the Napa Junior College.  In 2003 he headed to New Zealand for an internship with Doug Wisor at Craggy Range.  While there he sent a letter to Ehren Jordan, then winemaker for Turley Wine Cellars.  Tegan was hired as a harvest intern in 2003 but was quickly offered a full time job when his talent in the vineyard became apparent.  Tegan has since further honed his skills working harvests with Alain Graillot in the northern Rhône Valley as well as Eben Sadie in Swartland, South Africa.

Between his travels & rigorous vineyard duties, Tegan began gradually taking on more of the Turley winemaking responsibilities as well, eventually becoming head Winemaker & Vineyard Manager in 2013.  A founding member of the non-profit Historic Vineyard Society, he now oversees the winemaking and vineyard duties for all 35 vineyards and 28 wines, logging some serious miles on his Subaru.

Christophe Paubert WWET Napa

Christophe Paubert — General Manager & Winemaker

For Christophe Paubert, Winemaker and General Manager at Stags’ Leap Winery, the identity of a wine is found through the terroir. Christophe’s career has spanned the industry from sales to winemaking, and his impressive background includes positions at Chateau d’Yquem and Gruaud-Larose as well as projects in Chile, Spain and Washington State. But it was the terroir of Stags’ Leap that drew him to California. “I believe that wine should express the uniqueness of the land, and the Stags’ Leap wines have always showcased one of the most distinctive regions in the Napa Valley.”

Christophe grew up just outside of Sauternes in Bordeaux, where his grandfather was a Cellar Master. He spent his childhood immersed in the culture of wine, and followed his love for wine and science to the Institut d’Œnologie in Bordeaux. He graduated in 1983 and spent three years working for a negociant in Bordeaux before returning to complete a two-year graduate course in sales and marketing.

Upon graduation he took a job selling winemaking equipment, enjoying both the challenge of sales and the technical knowledge required. After seven years, he decided it was time to start making wine again. While visiting some friends at Chateau d’Yquem, he was offered the job of Cellar Master. His position encompassed everything from guiding tours to making the wine. “I was very passionate about this job because Sauternes is part of my culture; it was an exceptional thing to touch this unique wine.”

Nearly four years later a new opportunity arose. Christophe was offered the chance to travel to Chile, build a winery, hire and train a cellar crew and overhaul a 400-acre vineyard. “This is something that you do once in your life, it was so dynamic. I knew very little about viticulture at the time. It was a great learning experience and very rewarding to see the results.” During this time, he also traveled to Spain to learn the nuances of Tempranillo, and made wine in Rueda, Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Stints in Navarra, Spain; the Medoc in France and New Zealand were to follow and the jobs included everything from running the lab to improving vineyards and making wine. “You never stop learning. I have done every job there is to do at a winery from running the lab to giving tours. Every single person has an important job, and my role is to connect everyone to the greater purpose.” Most recently, Christophe spent four years in Washington State at Canoe Ridge, making Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Today, Christophe’s winemaking philosophy is informed by the sum of his varied experiences. He makes wine the way he learned in France, to showcase the fruit and not the winemaker’s hand, but he applies a technical understanding of each and every step of the process. “Wine is culture. There is history and tradition behind it. You enjoy it on the table with food and good conversation, and making wine involves working with other people. I recognize this same attitude toward wine and culture at Stags’ Leap. I am happy to be here. Stags’ Leap is place that becomes a part of you. It charms you. You set out on a ten minute walk, and before you know it you’ve been wandering the property for three hours.”

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Steve Rogstad — Winemaker

Steve, who grew up the youngest of six children from a North Dakota farm family, became interested in wine during an earlier stay in France in the mid-1980’s. Living above a wine shop in Paris, he was intrigued by the culture of wine, and began attending shows such as the Foire de Paris and Salon d’Agriculture to taste and learn as much as he could. Armed with an English degree from The University of Washington, he opted to return to the States and take the necessary courses required to study Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis.

After Davis and his Beaujolais internship, Steve embarked on a career in winemaking that has included positions at La Crema, Saintsbury, Rombauer – where he worked with custom crush clients Viader, Dominus, Duckhorn and Spottswoode — Spring Mountain Vineyard and Clos Pegase. He credits each winery, and the mentors he engaged, with showing him different ways of looking at winemaking and viticulture. “I’ve been lucky to work with some of the best — Dick Ward, David Graves, Tony Soter, Craig Williams, Rex Geitner, Ted Lemon, Byron Kosuge, Craig MacLean. They’ve all had an influence.”

Steve joined Cuvaison in 2002, enticed by the winery’s estate vineyard in Carneros and by the opportunity to build a winery from the ground up. He oversaw the construction of the new winery, ensuring it was “purpose built” to optimally handle the fruit from Cuvaison’s estate vineyard.


Robert Sinskey — Vintner

Rob Sinskey believes that the goals of making luxuriously elegant wines and farming with earth friendly methods are not mutually exclusive. Rather, he has found that caring for the land and conscientious business practices have helped define the well-crafted wines of RSV.  Rob and winemaker,  Jeff Virnig have adopted methods that not only produce wines of individuality, but leave a minimal footprint on the land. 

A native Californian, born in Los Angeles, raised on the Central Coast in the little town of Cambria, Rob has lived in Napa and San Francisco for the past 30+ years. Rob followed many breadcrumbs on his indirect path to today –  a stint as a Future Farmer, a wanna-be Chef and even an appreciator of the seductive qualities of wine. These were all part of his youth but, in his teens and early twenties, he thought he would become a photojournalist and received a degree from Parson’s School of Design in NYC.

His life in wine began when a six-month assignment assisting his father turned into a thirty-plus year obsession. “After a stint in advertising, I was looking for something real where I could, excuse the pun, put down roots. Then, my father called for help.  His avocation in wine growing had developed into a fledgling business and he needed assistance. I think a week had passed before I discovered that his avocation had become my obsession.”

Rob has grown his 100% organic and biodynamic certified winegrowing operation to over 200 acres of premium vineyards in the Carneros and Stags Leap districts of Napa and Sonoma Valleys with a philosophy that “Wine is not an athletic event.” The goal is to make “pure wines of character that pair well with cuisine.” Rob believes that wine should not be a “quick study,” but rather seduce you as the wine opens in the glass and bottle.

Stu Smith WWET Napa speaker

Stuart Smith — Proprietor & Winemaker

Brothers Stuart and Charles Smith are the vineyard managers and winemakers of Smith-Madrone Winery.  The name for the winery came as a tribute to the Smith brothers who pursued their dream and to the Madrone trees which distinguish the property. 

In May 1971, with a partnership of family and friends, Stuart Smith bought the ‘terroir’ which today is Smith-Madrone Vineyards & winery. He was 22 years old and had just received his B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley in 1970 and was taking classes towards his Master’s in Viticulture & Enology at UC Davis. In trying to find land to plant vineyard in the Napa Valley, through a family friend he explored a forest on the remotest and highest part of Spring Mountain and discovered that the land had been a vineyard in the 1880s and in fact had been part of the wagon trail route between Napa and Santa Rosa.

While pursuing his master’s at UC Davis, Stuart was the Department’s first teaching assistant, for wine industry pioneers Maynard Amerine and Vernon Singleton.  He taught Viticulture and Enology at Santa Rosa Junior College and Napa Valley College; he has chaired the 1986 and 2006 Napa Valley Wine Auctions.  He served on Napa River Watershed Task Force for several years, appointed by the Board of Supervisors; in 2006 he was appointed again by the Board of Supervisors to sit on Napa County General Plan Steering Committee, responsible for updating Napa’s General Plan, a three year project.

Pam Starr WWET Napa

Pam Starr — Co-Owner & Winemaker

Pam Starr has been the co-owner, manager and winemaker of Crocker & Starr since its inception in 1997 when she helped resurrect the vineyards on the Crocker Estate in St. Helena and established a winery to create world-class wines. After toiling as a winery employee for 18 years, Pam’s transformation at a relatively young age into owner, manager and winemaker was unique and remarkable. It required a special mix of skill, passion and dedication. All of which describe Pam Starr.

Pam’s love affair with winemaking began as a harvest intern for Sonoma Cutrer in Sonoma after graduating from the University of California at Davis in 1984 with a degree in Fermentation Science. “I was simply smitten – the way one is when falling madly in love. Winemaking is mysterious, it’s sexy, it’s magical.” And it’s been her life since.

After the internship, Pam worked for Edna Valley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo stacking barrels for a season. Her dream of becoming a winemaker began to take shape. For the next six years she was an enologist and assistant winemaker for Carmenet Winery in Sonoma, a job that taught her how to run a winery from cellar to bottle. In 1991, she became the winemaker for Spottswoode Vineyard & Winery in Napa Valley where she worked until she and Charlie Crocker established Crocker & Starr and she built the foundation of the business. At the same time Crocker & Starr opened its doors, Pam began wine consulting for Adastra Vineyard in the Carneros, Gemstone Vineyard in Yountville and Garric Cellars of Calistoga, among others.

Passionate about translating terroir into wine, Pam is known for her distinctive Bordeaux-style blends that express a deep sense of place. For this enthusiastic and inspired winemaker who views her job as translating soil into wine, great wine must taste of the sun, of the earth it comes from and of the place it grows.

Pam is a member of the Napa Valley Vintners, Appellation St. Helena, American Society of Enology and Viticulture, Concierge Alliance Napa Valley and Wine Entre Femme, an international consortium of women winemakers.

Photo credit: Joe Hendricks
fred headshot

Fred Swan — Writer & Educator

Fred is an SF Bay Area-based writer, educator, judge and speaker on wine and spirits. Among the places his writing appears are,, SOMM Journal, The Tasting Panel, the blog at,, the SF Wine School blog and his own site,

He’s been an instructor at the San Francisco Wine School since 2012. The classes he teaches for trade and consumers include CSW, CWAS, FWS, Wine & Beverage Program Management, and Somm Essentials. He’s also taught onsite classes for sales, marketing and production staff at a number of wineries, including Cakebread, Hall, Wente and Stephen Kent.

Fred’s certifications include WSET Diploma, Certified Sommelier, California Wine Appellation Specialist, Certified Specialist of Wine, French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Professional, Sud de France Wine Master, Certified Napa Valley Wine Educator, WSET Level 3 Sake, Certified Sherry Wine Specialist and Level 3 WSET Educator. He has twice been awarded fellowships by the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers and is an inductee of the Enchansonnerie des Papes, the honorary organization of the southern Rhone.

His growing obsession with wine led him to that industry after many years in senior management within the computer and consumer electronics sphere. Fred is the founder of Wine Writers’ Educational Tours.

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Anthony Truchard II — General Manager

Anthony Truchard II serves as the General Manager for Truchard Vineyards. In this role, he is responsible for leading the expansion of Truchard Vineyards into several markets, both nationwide and internationally.

Anthony grew up running between vines and climbing on tractors. As early as the age of 12, he began working among the vines by helping his father with virtually every element of the vineyard – learning which rootstock to select, planting vines, and irrigation to name a few.  In the winery, he racked barrels, punched down wine, and learned the art of blending.  Through these hands-on experiences, Anthony learned to appreciate every aspect of winemaking and honed his palate.

His studies took him to Southern California, where he graduated with degrees in Philosophy and Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara. As a university student, he further developed his wine knowledge by working and managing local boutique wine shops and restaurants. These experiences – the interactions with wine lovers in different settings – were his initial lessons in sales and marketing.

Subsequently, graduated from Cardozo School of Law in New York City and practiced intellectual property law for several years before returning to Napa at his parents’ request. Today, alongside his parents, Anthony works to maintain the integrity of his family’s wines, which loves sharing with the world.

Elizabeth Vianna WWET Napa

Elizabeth Vianna — General Manager & Winemaker

Elizabeth Vianna attributes her career in winemaking to a glass of 1985 Sociando Mallet, which she enjoyed at a pre-auction tasting at Christie’s in New York. A biology major at Vassar College, Elizabeth was originally on the pre-medical school track. She fell in love with wine as a consumer while living in New York City, working as a clinical toxicologist at New York Hospital – Weill Cornell Medical Center. Her strong science background and sudden infatuation with wine propelled her to apply to the University of California – Davis, and its renowned winemaking program instead of medical school.

Elizabeth first came to Chimney Rock as a harvest intern in 1999, while completing her Master’s degree in enology at U.C. Davis. Upon graduation, she became an enologist at Napa Wine Company and was soon named assistant winemaker there, where she worked directly with many of the region’s top winemakers including Heidi Barrett, Erin Green, Pam Starr, and Celia Masyczek. Elizabeth was named to the position of assistant winemaker at Chimney Rock in January 2002 and advanced to the position of winemaker in 2005. In 2009, Vianna was honored by the University of California – Davis School of Graduate Studies when she was invited by the Dean of Graduate Studies to deliver the commencement speech. She was promoted to General Manager of Chimney Rock Winery in 2011 while continuing in her role as head winemaker at the Stags Leap District estate winery. She has also served as President of the Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association.


Jennifer Williams — Winemaker

The partnership between a winemaker and a grape grower is paramount to the quality in the glass. ZIATA winemaker Jennifer Williams straddles both worlds, bringing an impressive depth of knowledge about viticulture to her craft in the cellar. She spends as much time walking the vineyard rows as she does tasting from the barrels.

Jennifer grew up on an orchard in rural Valley Center, outside San Diego, and spent her summers grazing between fruit trees. In those formative years, she was already struck by how varied the flavors of an apple could be from tree to tree and at different ripeness levels. A deep fascination was born, driving Jennifer to earn her bachelor’s degree in agriculture from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

An intern at Beaulieu Vineyard during college, Jennifer was armed with a truck, a book of vineyard maps and a refractometer. She checked vineyards for BV and fell in love with Napa and the wine industry. She found the perfect match between the pursuit of flavor discovered on her parent’s orchard and the science and instinct of farming—and ultimately, winemaking.

Stints at wineries in Paso Robles followed, both in the vineyards and in the lab. She joined Trefethen as an enologist after graduation, continued her hands-on education in the Rioja Alavesa region of Spain, then split her time between Napa wineries Araujo Estate and Spottswoode, mentored by esteemed winemakers.

Today, as the winemaker behind ZIATA, Jennifer seeks out-of-the-way vineyard sites to craft vibrant wines with fresh varietal character. She employs boutique winemaking techniques—think small barrel fermenters—to create serious wines with personality and depth. The result is a collection that honors the land as much as the winemaker’s imprint.


Mark Williams — Winemaker

Growing up, Mark Williams spent his summers helping his father, a UC Davis viticulture professor, harvest table grapes for research.

His winemaking career has led him around the world from Australia to California. Prior to his role as head winemaker at William Hill Estate Winery, Mark crafted wines for Bridlewood Estate Winery in Santa Barbara and the acclaimed small-lot winery at Louis M. Martini in St. Helena.

“My experience has taught me quite a bit about different grapes from different regions, and I’m excited to continue this element of discovery at William Hill Estate.”

Rory Williams WWET Napa

Rory Williams — Proprietor & Winemaker

Rory grew up with a high bar for family winemaking. His parents, John Williams and Julie Johnson, co-founded Frog’s Leap in Rutherford with Larry Turley and were among the early proponents of organic viticulture. He still works with them, splitting time between Frog’s Leap and Johnson’s Zin-focused Tres Sabores. But he also studied flavor science at Cornell, which provided a solid research background, and after working at wineries in Argentina; Barolo, Italy; and Burgundy, France, he founded his own label, Calder.

Alder Yarrow WWET Napa

Alder Yarrow — Writer

San Francisco Magazine has called Alder “The Wine World’s Brightest Cyberstar” and he is widely accepted as a pioneer of wine blogging. His Vinography.Com blog has been published daily since 2004, and was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2013.

Alder regularly speaks at events such as the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, Flavor! Napa Valley, and the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. He writes occasionally for publications such as The World of Fine Wine and Fine Cooking magazine, and is the author of The Essence of Wine, a unique coffee table book about wine’s flavors and aromas that was named one of the best wine books of 2014 by The New York Times and won the coveted Chairman’s Prize at the 2015 Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards. He is also the author of the Sonoma and Marin County chapter of DK Publishing’s Opus Vino.

Since November of 2011, Alder has been a columnist for Jancis Robinson on her web site His “Alder on America” column focuses on current events, trends, and happenings in the world of American wine. In 2013 Alder was inducted into the Wine Media Guild of New York’s Wine Writers Hall of Fame, an honor he shares with only 22 other living wine writers.