Jane Ballentine and her winemaker husband, William,own William Cole Vineyards in St. Helena in the NapaValley. Dating back to 1873, it is one of the oldest stone wineries in theNapaValley. Both were raised in St. Helena (William is third generation), and they create a small production of handcrafted wine, William Cole Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Heidi Peterson Barrett La Sirena
Heidi Barrett is a well-known professional winemaker in the Napa Valley. She graduated from UC Davis and has worked in the wine industry for over thirty years. She is the winemaker and owner of La Sirena and Amuse Bouche . Her other winemaking clients are Paradigm, Revana, Lamborn, Kenzo, Barbour, and Fantesca. Heidi is best known for her work as winemaker for the famous Screaming Eagle wines as well as many other “cult” and highly sought after wines. She is married to Chateau Montelena winemaker, Bo Barrett. They have two daughters and live in the Napa Valley. Her winery website is
Jennifer Becker, Ensemble Marketing Group
Founder After a career of consumer direct marketing for Quaker Oats, Pepsi, Jeep, Nike, Citicorp, Wells Fargo and Charles Schwab, Jennifer escaped to the Napa Valley and the wine industry. As VP of CRM for Robert Mondavi, Jennifer built a 100K+ consumer database, award winning web sites, wine clubs, e-commerce systems and managed all CRM campaigns. In 2001, Jennifer founded Ensemble Marketing Group to help clients forge profitable direct to consumer relationships. Overseeing all Ensemble projects, Jennifer's focus is on strategic planning and client relations.
Sandi Belcher, Arns Winery
ARNS WINERY is located on the hillside east of the historic City of St. Helena, CA, in the heart of the Napa Valley. The 160 acre parcel sits at an elevation of 800 feet above the valley floor and below the Howell Mountain Appellation. The soil for the nine acre all-Cabernet vineyard is Red Aiken Loam, which was planted in the mid-to-late 1960's. This parcel has a history of grape growing going back into the 1800's. Our wines represent selections from nine different blocks, with clones from Bordeaux and Napa Valley. These vineyard blocks consist of up to 2,900 vines per acre with a vertical shoot positioned trellis. At the present, there is some planting and replanting going on, and in the future our goal of 2,000 cases should be realized. OWNERS John Arns and Sandi Belcher are not newcomers to the Napa Valley. Sandi, grew up in Williamsburg, VA. She has been involved in the wine industry since 1970 and is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and also University of California Davis.
Stacey Bressler, Bressler Vineyards After a successful 20-year career in high technology sales and marketing, Stacey Bressler spends most of her time working with community programs and services. She serves on the Board of Directors for the St. Helena Hospital Foundation, St. Helena Farmers Market, and Planned Parenthood. She also does informal consulting on fund-raising to many charitable and civic organizations. And, of course, she enjoys working with Bob on the sales and marketing of Bressler Vineyards wine.
Prior to moving to St. Helena in 1999, Stacey was Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for CommerceNet, aworldwide non-profit industry association for companies promoting and building electronic commerce solutions on the Internet. Stacey has held several sales and marketing positions with Hewlett-Packard, NeXT and Apple Computer, Inc. She also held management positions with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Education. She holds a B.A. in Graphic Design, an M.S. in Library and Information Science, and completed post-graduate study in Education and Instructional Technology.
A published author, Stacey's most recent book was co-authored with Dr. Charles Grantham. It is: Communities of Commerce: Building Internet Business Communities to Accelerate Growth, Minimize Risk, and Increase Customer Loyalty. Stacey E. Bressler, Charles E. Grantham, McGraw-Hill, New York: July 2000.
Holly Buchanan, Author
Carissa Chappellet, Chappellet Winery
As a trained lawyer, skilled mediator, artist, author and photographer, Carissa assists in running the day-to-day operations of Chappellet alongside her brothers, Jon- Mark and Cyril, to ensure the success and long-term sustainability of the family-run winery. The three sibling work closely with their parents, founders Donn and Molly, who remain active in the business. A passionate spokesperson on behalf of Chappellet, Carissa has also earned the title of Ambassador-at-Large. Traveling throughout the country and occasionally overseas with her life-partner, noted wine expert, writer andradio personality, Archie McLaren, Carissa represents Chappellet at a wide range of industry events.Carissa's other areas of interest and expertise, include being a licensed hypnotherapist, certified massage therapist, avid cyclist, mandolin player, artist and author.
Remi Cohen, Vines to Wine
Robin Cooper, Erna Schein
Cathy Corison, Corison Winery Cathy Corison produces two Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, hand-crafted without compromise.Powerful and elegant at the same time, they grace the table and are structured for a long, distinguished life. Academic preparation included a B.A. in Biology from Pomona College in Claremont, CA and an M.S. in Enology from U.C. Davis.Over thirty years of winemaking for others, including a decade as the Winemaker at Chappellet Vineyard, Staglin’s first two vintages and 10 vintages each for Long Meadow Ranch and York Creek Vineyards, left her eager to express her own winemaking voice.She is guided by her belief that winemaking and wine appreciation are a timeless, creative celebration of life.
Naoko Dalle Valle, Dalle Valle Vineyards
Lisa Drinkward, Drinkward Peschon
Carolyn Duryea, Hourglass
Ursula Hermacinski, Screaming Eagle Winery General Manager
Sharon Harris, Amici Cellars and WineVillas
Sharon Harris turned 21 years old in Bordeaux, fell in love with wine at Chateau Haut Brion and developed a love of fine foods eating cheese, fois gras and oysters. Her early exposure to fine foods and wines while living in Bordeaux was a catalyst to her current life as a coowner of Amici Cellars, a Napa Valley winery specializing in hand-crafted, small production wines and as the owner of WineVillas, a villa rental company with luxuries properties in Bordeaux and Napa Valley. Getting into the wine business was earned after many hard years of toil in international advertising and publishing where Sharon held several executive positions. She helped built an Internet search engine start-up into a multibillion dollar success and consulted for Visa Inc and others on internet strategies. Sharon graduated with honors in International Economic from UCLA, earned a MBA with an emphasis in International Marketing from MIIS, but is most proud of her recent degree from the Universitie de Bordeaux, where she earned the coveted Diplome Universitaire d’Aptitude a la Degustation (DUAD).
Sharon lives in St Helena, California and spends as much time as possible in Bordeaux France. She is married to John Harris, a great guy, has two wonderful children named Beau and Kent and two spoiled golden retrievers named Blondie and Rascal (Rascal is fluent in French having lived in Bordeaux for 2 years). Sharon loves tennis, reading, photography and travel.
Susan Hoff, Fantesca
Feisty, Fun and Forever Finding a New Way... Most people find one demanding job challenging enough. Susan Hoff holds down several: as the Proprietress of an entrepreneurial Napa Valley winery, as the mother of two teenagers, a Best Buy executive officer and Founder, President and CEO of its Best Buy Children’s Foundation. Over the course of more that 25 years with Best Buy, Susan worked her way up the corporate ladder from an accounts payable clerk to the role of principal communications strategist for the Fortune 100 company. efore resigning as Senior Vice President of Communications and Chief Communications Officer in 2006, she had represented Best Buy’s entire family of brands, including its namesake chain in North America and Canada; high-end electronics retailer Magnolia Audio Video; the ncompany’s computer service division, Geek Squad; and its Canadian Future Shop chain. Susan established the Best Buy Children’s oundation in May 1994 and has served as president of its board of trustees every year since. In that role, she created the annual
Best Buy Charity Classic, Minnesota’s largest fundraising event, hosting LPGA legends alongside high-profile entertainers like Sheryl Crow, Beyonce, Elton John, Keith Urban, Seal and Dave Matthews. In 2000, City Business Magazine of Minneapolis/St. Paul City recognized Susan as one of the “Most Innovative Women in the Twin Cities” for her efforts with the Best Buy Children’s Foundation. The magazine also named her one of “Forty under 40” for her accomplishments in the communications field and service to the community, which currently includes her work as a trustee on the boards of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Guthrie Theater in addition to her Foundation work. In March 2007, Susan graduated with distinction from the Bordeaux Business School in Talence, France with an MBA in International Business entrepreneurial specializing in wine commerce. She applied and was accepted into the prestigious program to enhance her latest venture with husband Duane. While her creativity, drive and experience in marketing and communications made her a natural choice to launch a new wine brand, Susan sought the additional expertise and insight she knew this prestigious degree
would deliver. Life in Napa is a world apart for Susan. She welcomes the slower pace of life in the Valley’s sun-warmed environment, although her work life at Fantesca is anything but laid back. She oversees brand identity development and design, website concepts, international sales, member events and public relations. She appreciates that she and Duane can involve their teenagers Chelsea and Taylor in every aspect of their family business. She also enjoys the immediate gratification of a job well done— whether that job is shepherding a new vintage from concept through the bottling line, promoting a recent release to a global audience or rubbing elbows with a local Napa Valley chef in her kitchen creating a new dish among friends and family.
Barbara Insel, Stonebridge Research CEO & President
Genevieve Janssens, Portfolio Wineries Director of Winemaking Robert Mondavi Winery Founded in 1998 by Luc and Genevieve Janssens, Portfolio Limited Edition is the fruit of a collaboration of two experienced artists expressing the desire to create together a single harmonious wine made with 80% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% of Cabernet Franc. Every year a small quantity of wine is made (250 cases) at their home with care and love.It reflects the uniqueness of combining passion for Art and Winemaking and the belief that such rare harmony enhances a quality of life they wish to share with you.
Melinda Kearney, Intersection Wine Company, Lorenza Rose
Melinda Kearney has worked in the Napa Valley wine industry for nineteen years. In 2002, she launched her company to offer marketing strategy, branding and brand management to small wineries producing 240 cases to 10K cases. Melinda focuses on brand positioning while executing and supporting sales & marketing strategies including packaging, website and collateral. A graduate of the University of Colorado with a degree in English, Melinda came to the Napa Valley in 1988 with a background in food and wine as a restaurant owner. Prior to starting her own company, Melinda was Vice President, Director of Sales and Marketing for Frog’s Leap Winery which produced 50K cases. Melinda appeared at tastings, wine dinners, and charity events all over the world while supporting and managing the distributor network for Frog’s Leap. An active member of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, Melinda has served on various marketing committees including Co-Chair of the Asia Marketing Committee, and as a member of the original steering committee for Premiere Napa Valley. Current clients include Wolf Family Vineyards, Rockledge Vineyards and Evening Land Vineyards.
Erin Lail, Lail Vineyards
Sylvie Laly, Riedel
Daphne Larkin. Media Consultant
Pavi Lawson, Pavi Wines
Pavi Micheli Lawson founded PAVI WINES in 1998 with her husband, Rob Lawson. Rob is third generation in the wine industry and is a wine business consultant and former CEO of Napa Wine Company. Pavi graduated from UC Davis in 1992 and then followed her heart to live and work in Italy. While there, she worked for an event planning company in Bologna and continued to pursue her true assion of food. Upon returning to the States, she became involved in restaurant management, realizing that Napa Valley was the perfect spot to live for someone who was so passionate about food. The combination of Rob’s knowledge of winemaking and Pavi’s assion for her Italian heritage was the inspiration behind the creation of PAVI WINES and the idea to grow and produce classic Italian varietals in California. Pavi wrote the business plan for her own company, Pavi Wines, in her last semester at Thunderbird, he International Graduate School of Management. Pavi is also a realtor for Pacific Union Real Estate in St. Helena and assists many of Rob’s clients in relocating to Napa Valley. It is always a pleasure to help clients who are so enthusiastic about the wine industry and ho decide to immerse themselves in the daily life of Napa Valley by permanently relocating, as well as in their scout for the perfect vineyards. Pavi resides in St. Helena with her husband, Rob, and their daughters, Alessia (8) and Eliana (6). She also serves on the Board of Joan’s Legacy: a New York-based Foundation which raises money for non-smoking lung cancer research. In her free time, Pavi enjoys cooking, traveling and yoga.
Karen MacNeil, Author/Wine Educator
Mary Hall Maher, Harlan Estate
Michele Miller, Author
Beth Novak Milliken, Spottswoode
Beth Novak Milliken is the President of Spottswoode Vineyard and Winery, having joined forces with her mother in the fall of 1987. After completing high school in St. Helena, she attended college at UCLA. She spent her junior year studying in Europe, and it was at that time her interest in wine developed. Beth graduated with a degree in economics, after which she worked for four years as a sales representative for a wine brokerage company based in San Francisco. In addition to overseeing their family business, Beth is a past (and first woman!) President of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, and she participates in numerous volunteer and philanthropic events. She derives great enjoyment from her young sons and, ever dedicated to health and fitness, involves herself in many outdoor sports activities, some of them with her husband, John. Among her favorites are mountain biking, telemark skiing and hiking.
Anna Monticelli, Pina Winery Winemaker
Susan Moore, Aptalent, Inc
Mary Weber Novak, Spottswoode
As the owner of Spottswoode, Mary Weber Novak is very much involved with the operation of both the Estate Vineyard and Winery. Originally from Los Angeles, Mary graduated from Stanford University and thereafter made her home in North San Diego County with her husband, Jack Novak. While he pursued his medical career, she dedicated her time to raising their five children. In 1972, Mary and Jack purchased the Spottswoode Estate (already a grape growing property) and undertook the immense endeavor of replanting the vineyard. After Jack passed away unexpectedly in 1977, Mary made the decision to keep her family in the Napa Valley. The winery was started five years later, in 1982, with the first production of the Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon. During the thirty-five years that Mary has been a winegrower, she has been involved in a myriad of promotional and philanthropic wine-related activities. In her time way from the winery she is also an avid tennis player, golfer, traveler, hiker and gardener.
Suzanne Phifer Pavitt, Phifer Pavitt Wine
Suzanne Phifer Pavitt is the CEO of Phifer Pavitt Wine. After receiving her MBA from the University of Southern California, her professional life's journey began with fifteen years in Sales and Marketing. This experience laid the foundation for Suzanne to champion the shared dream of establishing a family owned wine business based in the Napa Valley. Suzanne co-founded Phifer Pavitt Wine with her husband Shane, after they purchased 22 plus acres on Silverado Trail almost a decade ago. Phifer Pavitt Wine produces a small production handcrafted Cabernet Sauvignon , Date Night , whose first release was the 2005 vintage in 2008
Linda Reiff, Napa Valley Vintners Executive Director
Lesley Keffer Russell, St. Supery Vineyards & Winery
Laurence Schlatter, Merryvale
Pam Starr, Crocker & Starr
Pam Starr has been making some of the best wines in Napa Valley since the mid-'80s. After a couple of internships as a cellar hand in various wineries, she left behind thoughts of dentistry and vaulted into the business of making wine. After stints at Sonoma-Cutrer, dna Valley, and Carmenet she made her big mark in the '90s at Spottswoode, where the 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon was cited by Robert Parker for its "Chateau Margaux-like elegance". Pam struck out on her own in 1997 and founded a partnership with Charlie Crocker to esurrect an 1870’s winery in the small town of St. Helena. Their commitment to sustainable and organic farming techniques coupled with cutting edge winemaking tools and guided by expert hands have combined the best of both old world philosophy and new world fruit. This historic estate has been uninterrupted farmland as far back as the 1870’s and spans over 100 acres of the gorgeous St. Helena ppellation. The philosophy at Crocker & Starr is to capture the greatness of the Crocker Vineyard in powerful and balanced wines without compromise. Pam strives to set the bar for St Helena Appellation Cabernets as would a First Growth Bordeaux Chateau.
Monica Stevens, 750 Wines/ All Access Napa Valley
Allison Tauziet, Colgin Cellars winemaker
Pierette Titus, Titus Vineyards
Pierette is part of Titus Vineyards, a Napa Valley grapegrowing and wine production operation based in St. Helena. Pierette’s background in microbiology and her professional experience in biochemical and winemaking chemistry laboratories have provided her with insights on wine production. Titus Vineyards is comprised of two parcels: 40 acres situated on the banks of the Napa River and an additional 10 acre property located in a stony volcanic knoll. Cabernet Sauvignon is the predominant estate varietal, although ample acreage is dedicated to Bordeaux varietals: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and also Petit Syrah. The production of Titus Wines is approximately 10,000 cases. Today, Pierette’s time is mostly devoted to raise her two sons, Alexander and Samuel.
Michele Torres, Trinchero Family Estates
Michele Torres, born in Italy, raised in the U.K. has lived in the Napa Valley for 20 Years. She obtained a Masters Degree in Nursing from Sonoma State University in Sonoma. She is married to Robert Torres, an owner of Trinchero Family Estates (TFE), the USA’s 4th largest “family” owned winery. The winery has been owned and operated by Robert's family since 1948. Today, TFE markets and owns over 30 brands including Australian brands. They produce over 13 million cases( 9L)/ annually. Their portfolio includes high end luxury brands to every day “value” brands. They own and operate many winemaking facilities throughout California including 3 in the Napa Valley: Trinchero, Sutter Home, Napa Cellars/ Follie a deux. In historic Amador county, they operate the Montevina(Terra D’Oro) facility. Their largest facility is located in the Central Valley of California, near Lodi, which will be their primary winemaking facility for their value brands . Michele is currently studying to take the Certification Specialist Wine Program here in the Napa Valley. She serves on a Board at The Napa Valley Volunteer Center and is responsible for fundraising for several charitable organizations. During her spare time she likes to compete in triathlons.
Delia Viader, Viader Proprietor
Celia Welch, Consultant, Corra Wines
Jennifer Williams, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery Winemaker
Karen Williams, Acme Fine Wines
Debby Zygiebaum, Robert Sinskey Vineyards Vineyard Manager
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