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Wine

Hosts

HOST YEAR
2020|2021|2022
Mar 17, 2022
Robin Cooper
Wine expert & Director of Hospitality for Behrens Family Winery, St Helena CA
Robin has been the Director of Hospitality & Customer Relations for Behrens Family Winery since 2006, representing Les Behrens and Lisa Drinkward’s award-winning wines. Robin will speak about Behrens’ hand-crafted wines, gently transferred in their unfiltered state from barrel to bottle. These tiny production red wines produced on Spring Mountain in Napa are sourced from special low yielding vineyard sites from growers throughout the Napa Valley and a few from Sonoma County as well, and has partnered other with vineyards obsessed with producing extremely high-quality fruit. Join Robin on a voyage of discovery down the beautiful Seine River as she compares her own Napa Valley wines versus those of France. This voyage is of special appeal to lovers of art, history and the fantastic Norman cuisine that so inspired Julia Child.
Mar 17, 2022
Mike Embly
Winemaker for Hungry Hawk Vineyards, Escondido Ca
Mike Embly is the winemaker and manager of vineyard operations for Hungry Hawk Vineyards and Winery: a family-run boutique winery in the northern San Diego County town of Escondido, California. Mike earned his degree in Business from California State University San Marcos in 2003. After working for over a decade in the corporate world, Mike took advantage of a family opportunity. He made the career leap to grow grapes and make wine; an occupation that satisfies his creative nature and love for working with the land. Today Hungry Hawk Vineyards and Winery grows 15 varietals on their 10-acre Estate. This boutique, award-winning winery relies heavily on a cohesive team, from vineyard to tasting patio, garnering numerous accolades along the way. Each year, Mike and his team create up to 30 vineyard and vintage expressive wines ranging from Méthode Champenoise Bubbly to Port Style wines, each artfully crafted to accentuate the soul and experience of the vintage, from vine to bottle.
Mar 24, 2022
Roman Roth
Winemaker and Partner, Wolffer Estate Vineyard, Sagaphack NY

A gifted winemaker, Roman Roth can be heard singing in an enviable tenor voice amid the barrels in the winery. But most of all, he gives “voice” to his wines, produced by experience that bridges three continents and stems from the dream of a 16-year-old boy in Rottweil in Germany’s Black Forest. In 1992, Roman became the first winemaker at Wölffer Estate Vineyard. He established the estate’s distinctive character — European elegance combined with the typicity of Long Island terroir. Recent honors include having two of our wines make recent “Top 100” lists from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast; being honored as the highest-rated wines in Long Island history; and having our wines served in the White House over the past two decades. Wolffer Estate celebrates it’s 30 Anniversary in 2018 so join us on board as we share a “toast” to the next 30 years!
Mar 24, 2022
Peter Thompson
Owner, Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards, Diamond Mountain, Napa Valley, CA

Since visiting the Napa Valley as a college student in 1973, Peter Thompson set his sights on producing world class Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1995, after a two and one-half year search for the ultimate mountain vineyard site, Peter selected the property at 2000 feet atop Diamond Mountain. Having purchased undeveloped land with unlimited potential, Peter assembled a team consisting of viticulture and enology specialists to plan and execute planting of a state of the art vineyard. 13 acres were carved out and planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The vineyard was christened Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards after Peter’s two sons, Andrew and Geoffrey, and currently enjoys a reputation for producing mountainside grapes and Cabernet Sauvignon wine of unprecedented quality.
Mar 25, 2022
Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance.
  • Tom Gendall, Winemaker, Cline Family Cellars
  • Rickey Trombetta, Proprietor and Erica Stancliff, Winemaker, Trombetta Family Wines
  • Al & Lisa Brayton, Proprietors, Thirty-Seven Wines
Mar 28, 2022
Rick & Bridget Hutchinson
Owners & Winemaker for Amphora Winery, Healdsburg CA
Amphora Winery owner/winemaker (and resident potter) Rick Hutchinson chose the name in honor of the clay wine jars of the ancient world. Rick’s philosophy, “Work year round with knowledge and passion to transform the best grapes into rich, delicious wines that are truly works of art” comes through in every wine he produces. After more than thirty vintages in Dry Creek Valley, his portfolio of small-lot wines includes more than a dozen varietals, embracing the appellation’s exemplary Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, while reimagining Old World rarities from the Rhone, Italy and Spain.
Mar 28, 2022
Doug Margerum
Owner/Director of Winemaking, Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara, CA

Doug started his food and wine explorations at a young age while traveling with his parents in France. His passion for food and wine was enhanced as he worked in restaurants as a cook and server throughout his high school and college years. Coinciding with his graduation from UCSB in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK – which quickly expanded to include a simple bistro adjacent to wine store. In 1994, the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007 after deciding to devote all of his energies to wine making. Margerum Wine Company began in 2001. His philosophy is to return to wine making in its previous form of production – handcrafted and personal. Doug reassumed ownership in WINE CASK in 2009.
Mar 31, 2022
Emilio Tedeschi & Stephanie Trotter-Zacharia
Owner of Tedeschi Family Winery, Calistoga CA
Flying over Hawaii in 1974, Emil Tedeschi was struck by the thought that the Islands lacked even a single winery. Having come from a winemaking family in Calistoga, California, he set about correcting the breach. Emil partnered with C. Pardee Erdman and began to make pineapple and grape wines. Today, MauiWine produces 30,000 cases of mostly pineapple wine and is still the only winery on Maui. Almost 20 years later, Emil returned with his wife and two sons, Emilio and Mario, to Napa Valley’s Calistoga appellation, where he was born. Emil worked as a vineyard manager and consultant in the area and replanted two-acres of walnuts with Cabernet Sauvignon on his family’s farm. In 2005, he opened Tedeschi Family Winery, making artisanal wines as his grandfather had done when he immigrated to the area in 1919 and what his father had done later. Today, Emil’s young sons Emilio and Mario run the business. Mario accompanied his father to the various Napa vineyards that his father managed and today handles the estate vineyard. He works with fellow winemaker David Sundberg, Mario steeped in generational, hands-on knowledge and David a master of the science. Emilio, with a degree in wine business from Sonoma State University runs the business. The Tedeschi Family Winery invites you to join Emilio Tedeschi and Stephanie Trotter-Zacharias on a voyage up the beautiful Rhone River Valley from Burgundy into Provence. Join us!
Mar 31, 2022
Ron Noble & Yun Chu
Owners of Ron Noble Wines, Petaluma CA
As a civil and coastal engineer, and avid sailor, Ron Noble has spent most of his life near the sea. As the founder of two consulting engineering firms specializing in coastal and harbor engineering, he has spent most of his time near the sea overseeing projects on everything from beach stabilization to seawalls to ports and harbors. His work has taken him to over 35 countries in 50 years. His success in business and his attraction to great wine led him to found Ron Noble Wines. Ron acquired the hillside property of Noble Family Vineyards and Ron Noble Wines in 1999 with aspirations of owning his own vineyard and making his own wine. Ron’s passion for wines started in his early 20s and only intensified as the years went on. His incredible journeys took him around the world and he fashioned them into opportunities to visit premier wineries. Ron’s wife, Yun Chu, was born to Chinese parents in South Korea. She speaks, reads and writes fluently in three languages: English, Mandarin Chinese and Korean. Yun earned her black belt in Chinese boxing/fisticuffs when she was only 18 years old, taught by her father who was the Asian champion in karate and martial arts. Yun is a gourmet cook, having spent many years in the food and restaurant business. Now semi-retired, when he isn’t still consulting, Ron wanders the estate vineyard, spends time with his family, and nurtures his vision for Ron Noble Wines. Less than 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean and situated in the Petaluma Gap, the Ron Noble Estate exemplifies the ideal nexus of land, water and air. “Our approach to winemaking is one of precision and style. Simple in theory, yet challenging in practice, we strive for the perfect balance of elegance and soulfulness.”
Apr 1, 2022
Anthony & Suzanne Truchard
Wine Educator & General Manager for Truchard Vineyards
Anthony, whose great-grandfather emigrated from France to the United States in the late 1800s, has always been proud of his French ancestry and is delighted to host this wine cruise through Bordeaux. Ever since he can remember, he has been working either in the vineyards or in the cellar in their Napa Valley vineyards. Whether pruning vines or racking wines, Anthony has experienced every aspect of winemaking from grape to bottle. Anthony has traveled extensively through Bordeaux and the great wine regions of France to learn about French vineyards and winemaking techniques. He pursued a career in law but always kept one foot in the wine business, whether as a consultant for restaurant wine programs or working weekends in a Manhattan wine shop. Anthony returned to Napa in 2005 to head the family’s winery. Join he and his wife Suzanne Marie Besu Truchard, who is Cuban and also of French ancestry, on this journey through Bordeaux.
Apr 2, 2022
Keith Kelsey & Jac Jacobs
Co-owner & winemaker for Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards, Central CA
Keith Kelsey is co-owner of Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards located near Avila Beach, CA. Keith’s dad always had a love of making wine and in 1999 started the winery. Keith helped plant the family vineyards and in 2002 joined the family full-time. It quickly became a local favorite. Keith maintains a comfortable family-friendly environment where guests can enjoy a glass (or two) of award winning wines. The culprit for great wines is Jac Jacobs who has been the winemaker since 2012. Jac has worked in the industry for over 37 years with experience covering North Coast and Central Coast wine regions of California. He had the honor to judge the 20th Annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Jac continues to produce numerous gold, double gold, and best of class medal wines with wines that are true to varietal character—full-bodied reds, dry fruity whites, refreshing hard ciders, unique apple blends, and sparkling wines. The Kelsey family invites you to join them and come sip your way down the Seine River.
Apr 4, 2022
Mick Schroeter
Winemaking Director, Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, Windsor, CA

Winemaking is often a trade passed down from generation to generation, and Mick Schroeter is no exception. Following in his father and uncle’s footsteps, Mick joined the family business at the Penfold Winery in 1982. With his love and passion for winemaking, he rose rapidly within the Penfold Winery, and later accepted a position as Vice President of Winemaking at Geyser Peak Winery in California where he remained for 17 years. His long track record of success and illustrious career in Australia and California, along with twice being named “Winemaker of the Year” at the London International Wine & Spirit Competition, have given Mick the knowledge and experience to take the reins as Winemaking Director at Sonoma-Cutrer.
Apr 7, 2022
Matt Crafton
Winemaker for Chateau Montelena Winery, Calistoga CA
Matt Crafton leads the production team as Winemaker at Chateau Montelena. He not only oversees all production and operations, but also plays a critical role in strategy, education and technology at the winery. Matt earned a degree in Economics from the University of Virginia in 2003. Rather than embark on a traditional career in finance, he was drawn to winemaking. Matt was hired as Enologist at Montelena after finishing his degree in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis in 2008. He was promoted to Winemaker in 2014. The dynamic atmosphere of Montelena inspires Matt to run with new ideas, striving toward perfection with every project, including oversight of the Chateau’s largest vineyard replant of the last 40 years. The management and staff of Chateau Montelena cordially invite you to join Matt Crafton on a voyage down France’s beautiful Rhone River Valley from Provence north into Burgundy, two of the world’s greatest wine producing areas. The beautiful vineyards and towns along the Rhone and Saone rivers date back to the time of the Roman Empire. The architectural and artistic achievements of the Romans are still profoundly visible everywhere on this fascinating itinerary.
Apr 7, 2022
Oak Knoll District Of Napa Valley
  • Dallas Brennan, VP Direct Sales, John Anthony Vineyards
  • Brian Cunat, Proprietor, Materra Cunat Family Vineyards
  • Doug Hill, Proprietor, Hill Family Estate
  • Ellen & Gary Luchtel, Vintner & Winemaker, Fortunati Vineyards
Apr 7, 2022
Fred Peterson & Jamie Peterson
Owner of Peterson Winery, Healdsburg, CA
Founder Fred Peterson began his winegrowing career 45 years ago with a vineyard apprenticeship in Mendocino County. After graduating UC Davis, and managing other peoples vineyards and wineries, Fred moved to Dry Creek Valley in 1983 to plant his own vineyards. Peterson Winery was established in 1987. Fred’s youngest child, Emily Peterson, comes from a restaurant management background, with a degree from UC Santa Cruz in environmental studies and sustainable agriculture. The passion for agriculture and experience in hospitality are the perfect combination for the sales manager and brand ambassador. Together, with Fred’s son Jamie, the three craft wines to reflect a sense of place and time, otherwise known as “No Soulless Wines”.
Apr 9, 2022
Randy & Cheryl Phillips
Owners of Red Soles Winery, Paso Robles CA
After years of wanting to experiment with their own fruit, Cheryl finally convinced Randy to make some wine. Not having any equipment, the pair crushed that historic first barrel with their own feet. Following a fruitful romp in that first bin of grapes, Randy and Cheryl stumbled upon the name Red Soles while admiring each other’s red, grape-stained feet. That first crush of Petite Sirah and Zinfandel grapes later became the founding partner’s premier vintage, their 2004 Kick-Off. This uniquely successful, wine-growing and wine-making duo happily run the business themselves. Each wine in their line-up is Estate grown, and the duo is proud of the fact that they do not source their wine grapes from any vineyard other than their own. There is great pride in making consistently award-winning wines from the same fruit that is grown for the farming business clients. With an average annual production of 2,000 cases of wine, our wines are a rare treat. These wines aren’t typically found on grocery store shelves or restaurant wine lists, though there are a few exceptions, you are more likely to discover Red Soles wines being shared with you by a friend and that is one of our favorite parts of being such a small, boutique winery.
Jun 30, 2022
Dr. Richard Becker
Owners of Becker Vineyards
Becker Vineyards was founded by Dr. Richard Becker, a physician in San Antonio, and his wife Bunny. Established in 1992, Becker is one of the original four wineries in Fredericksburg and today they are among the best known and highly respected brands in the state of Texas. Becker Vineyards’ wine has been served in the stateliest of settings, including seven times in the White House, the James Beard Foundation in New York, the Texas Governor’s Mansion and many other famous restaurants in Texas and the United States.
Jul 2, 2022
Matthieu Finot
Winemaker for King Family Vineyards

Matthieu was born in Crozes Hermitage in the Rhone Valley of France. Coming from a family of viticulturists and wine lovers, Matthieu was predisposed to continue his family’s pursuit of making and enjoying wine. He first studied viticulture and oenology at Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy. After graduating in 1995, Matthieu worked in many different wine regions around France including Rhone Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, and Jura. He then worked in Italy and South Africa to gain experience around the world before settling in Virginia. Since arriving in 2003, Matthieu has worked with wineries throughout the state. He enjoys working in the Monticello Appellation most because he likes the excitement of the region’s growth and being close to Charlottesville.
Jul 5, 2022
Greg Morthole
Winemaker for Davis Bynum Winery, Healdsburg CA
Raised in Sacramento, Greg Morthole attended the University of Wyoming, where he earned a B.S. in Natural Sciences. He entered the wine industry in 1999 as a Laboratory Analyst at Vinquiry in Windsor, California, learning wine microbiology and wine chemistry. After working for years in the lab at Vinquiry, the desire to work at a winery led him to accept the Enologist position at Chalk Hill Winery in 2003. When the QC Lab Manager position opened up at Rodney Strong Vineyards, Greg jumped on the chance, and started in that role in 2005. His interest in making wine at Rodney Strong was discussed in the interview process, and in late 2007, the longtime Director of Winemaking at Rodney Strong Vineyards, Rick Sayre, invited Greg to accept a new position as the Associate Winemaker. In the spring of 2010, he was promoted to Winemaker, overseeing all aspects of operations and winemaking in our “Artisan Cellar”, making the Davis Bynum Russian River wines and the Rodney Strong Reserve and Single Vineyard wines. In 2018, Greg accepted a new winemaking role in focusing only on the Burgundy varietals for Davis Bynum and Rodney Strong Vineyards. With a quiet demeanor and a determined attitude, Greg’s energetic and detail-oriented style illustrates how enjoyable he finds winemaking to be. “I love what I do. I’ve been making Davis Bynum and Rodney Strong wines for years, and so these wines are very close to my heart. Working with some of the best vineyards in Sonoma County is an absolute pleasure. Experiencing Mother Nature’s changes from vintage to vintage and the incremental changes that we’ve made in the vineyards and the wines has been extremely rewarding, and I still find that the best is yet to come.”
Jul 5, 2022
Ed & Adam Sbragia
Owners and Winemakers, Sbragia Vineyards – Geyserville, CA

Ed Sbragia and his son, Adam, are third and fourth generation winemakers in California’s prestigious Dry Creek Valley. Following 32 years as Winemaster at Beringer Vineyards in the Napa Valley, Ed returned home in 2001 to establish Sbragia Family Vineyards. The small, family-owned winery makes individual lots of wine from grapes grown in select blocks of their favourite vineyards. Ed is the only winemaker to receive The Wine Spectator ‘Wine of the Year’ for both a red wine and a white wine. After stints at Beringer, Souverain and St. Clement wineries, Adam joined his father at Sbragia Family Vineyards, where they have been making wine side by side for ten years.
Jul 11, 2022
Rhonda Wood
Owner & Winemaker, Wood Family Vineyards, Livermore, CA
Wood Family Vineyards is a family run winery located in the eastern foothills of Livermore Valley specializing in limited production handcrafted wines. Rhonda started making wine in 1996 – after they purchased the Merlot vineyard where she and Michael built their home. Together, their passion for wine and belief that winemaking begins in the vineyard led them to Livermore Valley. They are tireless champions about the quality of Livermore Valley soils and their commitment to Valley grown grapes.
Jul 12, 2022
Micole Moore & Teri Kerns
Owners & Winemaker for Ramona Ranch Vineyard & Winery
We moved to Ramona in 2004 with the intention of having a hobby farm, with chickens, a garden, and a horse or two. Quickly we discovered that Ramona was also an excellent place to grow winegrapes and make wine. In 2006 the Ramona Valley was officially designated an AVA (American Viticultural Area). That designation motivated us to plant our first vineyard in 2006 and begin making our own white, rose and red wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Temperanillo, Sangiovese, Merlot and Tannat. Today Ramona Ranch Winery is San Diego County’s only CSWA Certified California Sustainable vineyard and winery and the Ramona Valley’s #1 rated winery for three years in a row. We invite you to join us on a delightful summer European river cruise. This is a voyage of discovery along four of Germany’s great rivers: the Danube, Main, Rhine and Mosel. The villages and ports are picturesque, virtually out of a fairytale and the scenery spectacular. We will enjoy superb German wines and along with an ample supply of our own wines from Ramona Ranch Vineyards.
Jul 14, 2022
Rick Bonitati
CEO of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Rick Bonitati joined the St. Francis team as Chief Executive Officer in early 2018. With over 30 years of experience in the fine wine business and a focus primarily on Sonoma County wines, Rick’s passion for premium Sonoma County wines is a perfect addition to St. Francis’ leadership team. Rick believes it is imperative to “work hard and have fun doing it.” His strategic approach to business is to empower collaborative leadership and establish clear objectives and tactical action plans for constant improvement and growth. His team approach along with his pursuit of consistent development is perfectly aligned with the driving force behind St. Francis’ dedication to excellence.
Jul 14, 2022
Michael Lewellen
Managing Partner at Lucas & Lewellen Winery, Solvang, CA
Coming Soon!
Jul 18, 2022
Regional Wine Expert
Jul 19, 2022
Phillip & Melissa Staehle
Owner & Winemaker for Enkidu Wine, Sonoma CA
Phillip Staehle hails from rural Northern California where he gained wine appreciation at an early age. After graduating from UC Davis, Phillip found his calling when he joined Carmenet Vineyards, producers of small batch, world class wines. From this experience, in 2003, he leaped at the opportunity to crush his first vintage of Petite Sirah, and Enkidu was born. Enkidu Wine was created by Phillip’s vision and dedication, focusing on wines that are extracted with finesse, balance and complexity. He believes that his work should be an extension of himself and making wine is the perfect stage for this expression. The name “Enkidu” (en-kuh-doo) comes from one of the oldest stories ever recorded: The Epic of Gilgamesh. Phillip lives in Santa Rosa, California with his wife, Melissa, and his Labrador “beast” – Anu. His free time is spent cycling, practicing yoga, or backpacking in the mountains.
Jul 21, 2022
Michael Barreto
Winemaker & Certified Wine Educator, Le Vigne Winery, Paso Robles
Michael Barreto got hooked on wine by making his first barrel at home in 1999. After taking courses he secured his first winery job in 2001, progressing quickly from a cellar position into the laboratory. In 2003 Michael started at Le Vigne Winery, quickly elevating the quality and reputation of the wines. By 2009 the Le Vigne labels evolved into high-end quality wines, a testament to the winery’s superb Paso Robles vineyard. “There are many facets to being a winemaker, from walking the vineyard to interacting with customers in the tasting room. Even the hectic sleepless environment of harvest can be joyful. A tremendous feeling results at the end of much hard work and nurturing the vines, concentrated into a wonderful vintage.” Join Michael and Joey Barreto on a wonderful voyage on the waterways of Bordeaux, arguably the world’s epicenter of fine wine production.
Jul 28, 2022
Dan Panella
Owner/Winemaker, Oak Farm Vineyards, Lodi, CA

As a third generation American farmer, agriculture has always been a passion for Dan. He got his first start in farming by riding a tractor in the family's cherry and walnut orchards, so it was only a matter of time before he found himself farming grapes. Under the training of a highly regarded winemaker, Dan has been able to grow in the art of winemaking; the fusion of agriculture and art that has allowed him to be creative and allow the grapes to show their strengths.
Jul 28, 2022
Mark Hoover
Winemaker
What does sincerity and truth have to do with wine? — It’s this: We carefully source all the ingredients from our wines. We make our wines in small batches. We care about hand-crafting. And we do all of this because of you. Carefully sourcing all the ingredients for our wines means better wine that’s better for you. Hand-crafted small batches means we have more control over quality and we can make a wine just for you. We got into this business because we noticed that even though wineries told us they cared, they still put their name on wines that weren’t tasty and reliable, year over year. We knew we could do better. Integrity is not just about the wine itself. It’s about everyone who helped create this wine experience. It’s complete when we add you. That’s integrity. Join Mark on a luxurious wine cruise along the Rhine and Moselle rivers.
Jul 30, 2022
Dr. Douglas Garman, PhD
Aug 2, 2022
Kory & Catherine Burke
Owners Gelfand Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA
The journey into wine began with Kory’s visit over 20 years ago to Australia in Barossa Valley, traveling to many of its wineries. The intimate engagements and world class wines ignited a 20+ year passion for wine with the goal to find a perfect place to dive deep into winemaking and share that love with others. Catherine and Kory have since made wine a central part of their lives visiting many regions around the US and Europe and then moving to Paso Robles, CA, to start making their own wine at Gelfand Vineyards. In 2020 the couple officially became owners of the over 20-year-old Gelfand Vineyards and also now serve as the winemaker sharing some of California’s best and hidden gem wines from all estate grown fruit. The 25-acre property features Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Malbec, Tempranillo and Sangiovese. While producing just 2,000 cases annually, Catherine and Kory believe the secret to success is growing high quality fruit, focused time and attention in the winemaking process and building long-lasting relationships with visitors to the boutique vineyard that is Gelfand Vineyards. They look forward to sharing these wines and creating many more memories with you.
Aug 4, 2022
Mike & Melissa Owen
Owners
Mike Owen’s lifelong wine journey has taken him from California to France, from the cellar to the judging table, from a wine aficionado to a wine businessman. Mike and his wife Melissa own and operate Crystal Basin Cellars in the Sierra Foothills of the El Dorado appellation. Working with almost 20 different grapes provides an extensive line-up of award-winning wines. Mike has great success with Rhone varieties planted at high elevations. You can literally taste the difference on these flavorful wines. Who doesn’t want to talk about and sip great Syrah and Mourvedre? Mike’s palate, easygoing informative approach, plus his serious, wine-geeky patter all set him up to be an All-Star host for AmaWaterways. Crystal Basin’s winemaking history extends back nearly 40 years. Mike and Melissa lived on the Cote-d Azur for three years in the 90s. This was their playground – let them share their enthusiasm on an unforgettable trip.
Aug 6, 2022
Mark Jessup
Owner of J Gregory Cellars
Mark Jessup is third generation born and raised in Napa Valley. He started his winemaking career 41 years ago at Inglenook Winery. It was there he decided that winemaking would be his life career. He went on to work with the cellar team at Robert Mondavi and Opus One. In 1996, Mark launched his first winery, Jessup Cellars in Yountville, California. Mark enjoyed this until 2005 when he decided to “slow his soul down” and sold Jessup Cellars to launch J Gregory Cellars. J Gregory, a 2000 case production, is named after Mark’s third son, Jonathan Gregory Jessup. Join Mark & Kandice on their Wine Cruise along the Enticing Douro.
Aug 11, 2022
Dave and Helen Dart
Owners of d'Art Winery in Lodi, California
“I believe my winemaking and my art are just different mediums with the same passion.” Explains owner/winemaker Dave Dart. Being involved in every aspect of winemaking, from the harvest to bottling, involves equal portions of creativity and knowledge. It is not surprising that Dave turns to his other art forms to rejuvenate and refresh his mind. Each d’Art label is a creation of Dave’s beautiful art prints can be seen in the tasting room.

With 13 years of love and hard work, Dave and Helen look forward to sharing our story and our wine with you on this Ama Waterways River Cruise. Through our discussions we will walk through the vineyards, crush and ferment the wine, barrel and blend, and finally bottle and deliver to our club members. We’ll also explore the different styles of wine from d’Arts Lodi wines to the wines of the Rhine River.

Aug 13, 2022
Steve Cass
Owner, Cass Winery, Paso Robles, CA

Steve and Alice Cass started in the wine business in 1999 with the acquisition of their property in Paso Robles, California that was to become the vineyard and later, the winery. Recently Cass Winery was named “2015 Winery of the Year” by the Central Coast Wine Competition for the most recognized winery that presented the most exceptional selection of wines. “We are thrilled with how well our wines did and how they were received” says Cass winemaker Sterling Kragten. Established in 2005, the winery currently produces 10,000 cases a year with emphasis on producing wines that express their varietal nature and the vineyard. The wines may be lighter in color and body but more complex in flavors and nuances. This is generally referred to as an ‘old world’ style wine. Join Steve and Alice as they take you on a journey, sampling the many “Tastes of Bordeaux”.
Aug 20, 2022
Carol Hoyt
Owner & Winemaker for Hoyt Family Vineyards, Paso Robles CA
When Carol and Stephen Hoyt were just married, a stay at a working vineyard inspired them to have a vineyard of their own. At the time, Carol was a working model and actress, best known for her popular character, the villianous Divatox, in the Power Rangers series. Upon starting a family, Carol took a break from performing, and she and Stephen moved to Malibu. There they planted their first vineyard – in their backyard! Having no idea of what they were getting themselves into, Carol soon discovered they would have a lot of fruit, and quickly learned to make her first wine in their kitchen. Long gone are the days of making wine at home. Carol now makes wine and grows all her grapes in the heart of Paso Robles’ coveted west side. The Hoyt’s boutique winery, not only boasts award winning wines, but also micro-winery of the year.
Oct 27, 2022
Oct 27, 2022
Sabrine Rodems
Winemaker, Wrath Wines, Soledad, CA
Wrath wines have received notable acclaim from Robert Parker, Wine Spectator and other respected wine reviewers, due to Sabrine’s winemaking talent. Back in June 2004, after graduating from UC Davis, Sabrine joined San Saba Vineyard. She successfully guided the winery through its transition from San Saba to Wrath when current owner, Michael Thomas, bought the winery in 2007. Wrath wines are made with an enormous amount of care and a large experimental streak. It’s that spirit of experimentation that makes these wines exciting. Join Sabrine on this voyage down the Seine, visiting the beautiful historic villages and seaports that inspired Monet, Cezanne and Renoir.
Oct 29, 2022
Jody Elsom
Co-owner & Winemaker for Elsom Cellars, Washington
Jody’s a travelling spirit. If you ask her what inspires her, you get a million glimpses of the world she’s seen. This old world teaches us a lot, if we slow down and let it. And, if we sit across a table from a stranger with a couple glasses of great wine, before long, it’s surprising how much we all share. Wine gathers its taste from everything it encounters. The earth. The air. Everything leaves a mark. So do people. Jody’s passion for wine began in the Napa Valley and further explored through numerous experiences in the vineyards and wineries throughout Italy and France. Formally educated as one of the first graduates from WSU’s extension studies of Enology. Jody has a passion for developing wines that best represent the possibilities for Washington Wines.
Oct 31, 2022
Stephen Reustle
Owner Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards, Roseburg Oregon
Before the vineyard and winery, Stephen and Gloria Reustle owned a successful marketing company that taught them the value of providing “world-class” product to a loyal customer base. Upon arriving in the Umpqua Valley of Oregon, Stephen carefully mapped out 40 acres of vineyards to be planted. Each variety, clone, and rootstock was carefully selected to match the diverse hillside soil and unique micro-climates. Using only fruit grown from the estate’s Prayer Rock and Romancing Rock Vineyards, winemaking is kept to small lots preserving the distinctiveness of each varietal and clone. Stephen became the award-winning pioneer of U.S. Gruner Veltliner, and since 2009, Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards has garnered 18 “Best of Class,” 7 “Double Platinum,” 17 “Platinum,” 38 “Double Gold,” and 99 “Gold” Medals across 10 different varietals. And yes, there really is a “Prayer Rock” at the vineyard -- at the top of the south-facing slope is a large rock that was the meeting place for Stephen and his son in the mornings to pray to God for blessing over their vineyard. Not only did this family practice establish the name of the vineyard, but it has kept the Reustle’s very busy. Since then, they have bottled 5,000 - 8,000 cases of wine annually, selling out every year.
Nov 1, 2022
Nov 3, 2022
Amelia Ceja
President, Ceja Vineyards Napa, Ca
In 1967, Amelia Morán Ceja emigrated to the U.S. to join her father, a farmworker, who toiled for years in California’s vineyards. Today she’s crossing another border, turning wine consumers into wine aficionados with her subtle blend of viticulture, down-home cuisine and a Web-based marketing campaign. Ceja Vineyards was founded by Amelia and her partners in Napa Valley in 1999; she became the first Mexican-American woman ever to be elected president of a winery. The California legislature recognized Amelia as “Woman of the Year” in 2005 for “breaking the glass ceiling in a very competitive business.” Amelia’s commitment to marketing ethics and corporate responsibility has been acknowledged. She received the coveted 2013 Academy of Marketing Science Distinguished Marketer Award. She has been successful in the growth of the Ceja Vineyards brand, using marketing innovation and creativity. In February 2016, Amelia received the 2016 Dolores Huerta Farmworker Justice Award for her and her company’s commitment to promoting the value and fair treatment of farmworkers.
Nov 3, 2022
Joe & Jenny Barton
Owners, Grey Wolf Cellars & Barton Family Wines, Paso Robles CA
Grey Wolf Cellars and Barton Family Wines was established by Joe Sr. and Shirlene Barton in 1994. The couple dreamed of owning a winery and building a family business for generations to come. Joe Jr. attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo while the winery was in its infancy, working alongside his parents to get it off the ground. Following the untimely passing of his father in 1998, and at the young age of 23, Joe was tasked with continuing his family legacy and creating a distinct style of his own. Joe focuses on specific vineyard sites that offer a distinct character to each hand-crafted wine which complement each variety. In 2020, Joe received the distinction of being named San Luis Obispo County Winemaker of the Year. Today, Joe and his wife Jenny run the business as a husband-and-wife team alongside Joe’s mom Shirlene who remains an integral part of the day-to-day operations.
Nov 3, 2022
Peter Marks
Master of Wine, Constellation Brands

Peter Marks is one of only 24 Masters of Wine residing in the U.S. and was the first American to win the Madame Bollinger Foundation Award for having the highest tasting score on the rigorous MW exam. He has served as Director of Wine at the upscale Draeger’s Supermarkets in the San Francisco area, Chief Wine Merchant for online wine retailer Wine.com, and Senior Vice President of Wine at COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts. Peter is also a member of the Society of Wine Educators, sits on the Board of Directors of the Napa Valley Wine Library and judges many international wine competitions.
Nov 4, 2022
Kathy Joseph
Owner and Winemaker for Fiddlehead Cellars
Featured prominently in the iconic movie Sideways, Fiddlehead Cellars’ owner and winemaker Kathy Joseph is recognized as a pioneer among female winemakers. With unbridled passion and enthusiasm, Kathy creates stylistic Sauvignon Blanc and silky, textural Pinot Noir. She produces about 5,000 cases of wine at Fiddlehead annually, infusing her personal touch in each grape cluster, barrel of wine and bottle that finds its way to the table. Her quest is simple: to incorporate European beauty into these New-World varietals by working with grapes grown in the ideal spot and wines managed with great care and respect in the cellar. All varietals, including Grüner Veltliner from Austria, are celebrated for their successful Old-World pedigree; all have the potential to convey sensory elegance and have proven to gratify a broad range of discriminating palates. Join Kathy and her husband Tom as they lead you along the Danube River, exploring this rich wine region.
Nov 5, 2022
Paul & Merrill Bonarrigo
Owners, Messina Hof Winery & Resort, Bryan, TX

Messina Hof is the most awarded and renowned Texas wine in national and international competitions. In a community steeped in tradition, Messina Hof Winery & Resort holds its own with a 200-year history of award-winning wines. Although the winery itself was officially established when with the first vintage release in 1983, the rich wine heritage of Winemaker Paul Bonarrigo dates back six generations to Messina, Sicily. Merrill Bonarrigo’s family originates from Hof, Germany. Together they have pioneered the Texas wine industry in creating premium wines of distinction and a landmark wine country destination.
Nov 7, 2022
Nov 8, 2022
Nov 10, 2022
Josh & Carrie Bendick
Co-Winemakers for Holly Hill Vineyards, Placerville, CA
Holly and Tom Cooper, owners, fell in love with the varieties of Southern France’s Rhone Valley when they shared a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape on their honeymoon. Years later, when they fulfilled their life long dream of planting a vineyard it was a natural choice to plant these very same grapes. As the vineyard was being planted, their daughter, Carrie learned the art of winemaking and met Josh Bendick, another aspiring winemaker along the way. They not only fell for each other but with the idea of crafting Rhone varietal wines. It’s been a love affair ever since. Together, the family produces wines from their mountainous El Dorado County vineyard. It sits at nearly 3000 feet in elevation and is located half way between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Join Carrie & Josh on this beautiful wine cruise along the Rhone!
Nov 10, 2022
Neeta Mittal
Owner of LXV Wines, Paso Robles, CA
Being one of the first Indian women to own a winery in the US, that was named in the Top- 10 tasting experiences in America by USA Today, comes with a lot of responsibility, having to answer more questions on Culture than Vintages, on Food than Wine, on Inspirations than Medals. Her journey started in a small town south of Mumbai where her mother lives and regularly visits the local spice market to purchase the fragrant herbs and spices that go into handmade Tandoori Masala. That is the inspiration that helped her to create LXV Wines as a space where the flavors from around the world are brought together at the tasting table – through wines and through pairings. Neeta’s ultimate goal is to create a movement that inspires and heightens moments, and that transcends the personal, business and community. Join her on this wonderful sensory journey through the wine regions of Burgundy and the Rhone!
Nov 10, 2022
Holly Howell
Journalist & Wine Expert, Finger Lakes, NY

Holly Howell writes a wine column for the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester and is a well-respected New York-based authority on the wines of the Finger Lakes region, particularly Rieslings. She spent a year in France studying French food and wine, teaches wine and food pairing classes, and has served as a judge for the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and also writes a popular blog. Holly is currently pursuing her Wine Spirit Education & Trust diploma.
Nov 10, 2022
John & Ann Martini
Owners of Anthony Road Wine Company
The Anthony Road Wine Company story began in April of 1973 with the planting of the first vines that established our vineyards. Having moved to the Finger Lakes from Baltimore early in the year, Ann and John Martini took a leap of faith and became grape growers at the suggestion of a friend. The first vines were French-American hybrid vines planted specifically for the Taylor Wine Company. Over the year, the family and the vineyard grew to include four children (Peter, Sarah, Maeve and Elizabeth) and 30 acres of vines. A true family affair, the four children and their spouses are integral parts of the day to day business. The 12 grandchildren help or hinder whenever they can. Today the Anthony Road Wine Company processes fruit from 90 acres of grapes between two vineyard sites. Our commitment to the land, vineyards and quality wines result in an experience we are proud to share with you. Join John and Ann Martini on this wine cruise adventure along the beautiful Rhine River.
Nov 11, 2022
Rebecca Sciandri Griffin
The Sciandri Family purchased 20 acres of untouched pasture in Napa in 1992. It was not long before they planted our first Cabernet Sauvignon field and started their Napa adventure in wine. Their family winemaking roots can be traced back to the small town of La Quercia, Italy, in Northern Tuscany, where their ancestors have been making wine for generations. As a family they strive to operate their winery with some of those same Old World values. They are proud to farm and source all of their fruit from the Coombsville AVA, (the 16th, and one of Napa Valley’s newest sub appellations). Sciandri Family Vineyards offers an Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville Cuvee, a Rose, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a special 4 barrel production of a wine called “Nello”. The 4+ acre vineyard on the 20 acre estate is allied with the Napa Green Certified Land Program, which includes a certification for Fish Friendly Farming. The family focuses on sustainable practices related to soil, drainage, wildlife and more. The Sciandri Family invites you to join them on this incredible Wine Cruise on the Danube.
Nov 13, 2022
Brian & Claudia Fleury
Owners & Winemaker for Fleury Estate Winery, Napa Valley, CA
Fleury Estate Winery is a family owned winery in the heart of the Napa Valley. Brian Fleury made the decision to turn his skills as a successful Bay Area businessman to the wine business purchasing the estate in Rutherford in 2000. Brian has always had a passion for fine wines and specifically Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. So, when he was ready for a change, Brian decided to turn to a career in winemaking and brought his entire family with him to the Napa Valley. Upon arrival in Napa, Brian set about learning how to make wine from various mentors and friends in the valley. The Fleury Estate Winery is the result of years of passion, hard work and dedication that Brian and Claudia love to share with their guests.
Nov 14, 2022
Nov 14, 2022
Dr. Richard Becker
Owners of Becker Vineyards
Becker Vineyards was founded by Dr. Richard Becker, a physician in San Antonio, and his wife Bunny. Established in 1992, Becker is one of the original four wineries in Fredericksburg and today they are among the best known and highly respected brands in the state of Texas. Becker Vineyards’ wine has been served in the stateliest of settings, including seven times in the White House, the James Beard Foundation in New York, the Texas Governor’s Mansion and many other famous restaurants in Texas and the United States.
Nov 15, 2022
Susanne Sapier
Owner of Vineyard Grant James
Susanne Sapier has always had a passion for good wine and great fun. In 2008 Susanne purchased a property in the inland San Diego County town of Ramona, CA to start a vineyard. Just three weeks later the first vines were planted. By 2011 sufficient quantities of her estate-grown grapes were ready to make the first year’s production of Vineyard Grant James wines. Named after her son Grant and father James, this family owned winery is rapidly growing by reputation and word-of-mouth. In 2017 Travel + Leisure magazine named Vineyard Grant James the #2 winery in the USA by visitor popularity; high praise indeed!
Nov 17, 2022
Jerry & Elaine Owen
Proprietors of Lady Hill Winery, Oregon
Capturing the earth, the weather and the year in a bottle, wine is ultimate farming. It was in 1995 when Elaine and Jerry added vines to the fields of vegetables, grains and arborvitae on the family’s 5th generation Willamette Valley farm. They designated this 20-acre estate vineyard St. Columban. In 1999, they co-founded Owen Roe Winery in what was formerly the machine shop for the farm. They rolled out the tractors and combines and rolled in the tanks and barrels, transforming the space into a full production winery. The winery is situated on 1500 acres that the family has farmed since the 1850’s. Adjacent to Champoeg State Heritage Area where Oregon’s first provisional government was founded in 1843, each generation has cultivated crops, family, and memories. In 2012, they created a new winery and gathering space that would honor the past and contribute to the rich history of this land. Join Jerry & Elaine on this beautiful wine cruise along the Rhone.
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