Karen MacNeil Interviews the Most Important and Fascinating People in the Wine Business

David Adelsheim

David Adelsheim is the founder of Adelsheim Vineyard, the Chehalem Mountains’ first winery, which he founded in 1971 with his former wife, Ginny Adelsheim. Adelsheim has no formal training in viticulture but got advice from Oregon’s other early vintners before purchasing his original 19-acre parcel in Yamhill County, becoming part of the ten families to make wine in the Willamette Valley before 1980.… Read Interview

Annette Alvarez-Peters

Annette Alvarez-Peters recently retired from her tenure at the helm of Costco Wholesale Corp’s wine, beer and spirits division, one of the largest wine retail programs in the world with roughly $2 billion dollars in sales annually. … Read Interview

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Philippe Bascaules

Philippe Bascaules began his career at the legendary Château Margaux, one of France’s five First Growth Bordeaux estates…… Read Interview

Greg Brewer

Greg Brewer

Greg Brewer is Winemaker and Co-founder of Brewer-Clifton Wines in Santa Barbara, CA. As a pioneer vintner in the Sta. Rita Hills, he also helped to map, define and establish the appellation in 1997, which was granted AVA status in 2001.… Read Interview

Bartholomew Broadbent

Bartholomew Broadbent is the founder and CEO of Broadbent Selections, one of America’s leading wine importers, which he founded in 1996. One of the world’s foremost authorities on Port and Madeira, Bartholomew is credited with revitalizing the markets for both in the U.S. in the 1980s.… Read Interview

Melissa Burr

Melissa Burr is Vice President of Winemaking for Stoller Family Estate, overseeing two winemaking teams—one at each of two production facilities on the estate—focuses on blends, and supports marketing efforts.… Read Interview

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John Caldwell

John Caldwell, founder and owner of Caldwell Vineyards in the Coombsville district of Napa Valley, was one of the first vintners to realize Coombsville’s potential for fine wine. He was at the forefront working with the French regulatory agency ENTAV (Établissement National Technique pour ‘Amélioration de la Viticulture) to import French clones into America.… Read Interview

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Chris Carpenter

Chris Carpenter is the winemaker for some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries, including Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota, and Mt. Brave — the grapes for which are grown on the mountains that ring the valley. Chris earned an undergraduate degree in biology… Read Interview

Clare Carver

Clare Carver

Clare Carver is co-proprietor with winemaker Brian Marcy, of Big Table Farm–a winery and working farm in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. In charge of winery marketing and hospitality, she also manages the 70-acre farm including a herd of Irish Dexter cattle and heritage breed pigs.… Read Interview

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Remi Cohen

Remi Cohen is the Chief Operating Officer of Lede Family Wines, which includes Cliff Lede Vineyards in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley and FEL Wines in California’s Anderson Valley. Remi studied molecular and cellular biology… Read Interview

Cathy Corison

Cathy Corison was the first woman winemaker-proprietor in the Napa Valley. She received her B.A. in Biology from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, followed by a master’s degree in Enology from University of California at Davis. Her first winemaking position at… Read Interview

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Eileen Crane

Eileen Crane is the CEO and founding winemaker of Domaine Carneros—a joint venture of Taittinger Champagne and the Kopf family—and considered one of the top sparkling wine firms in California. Crane studied science and food before … Read Interview

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Vanya Cullen

Vanya Cullen is considered one of Australia’s top winemakers.  She was named 2020 “Winemaker of the Year” at the Halliday Wine Companion Awards.  She is Chief Winemaker at Cullen Estate, her family’s winery in Margaret River.… Read Interview

Georges Duboeuf

Georges Duboeuf In 1964, well-known Beaujolais vintner Georges Duboeuf founded Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, a negotiant business devoted to selecting, bottling, and selling Beaujolais and Burgundy wines worldwide. Duboeuf has since become a symbol of… Read Interview
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Merry Edwards

Nearly half a century ago, a handful of women quietly worked their way into the California wine industry. More than trailblazers, these pioneering women helped set the course of the industry for the next 50 years. Along the way, each has become an icon. No one more so than Merry Edwards.… Read Interview

andy erickson winemaker

Andy Erickson

Andy Erickson is the consulting winemaker for Dalla Valle, Arietta, Dancing Hares Vineyard, Mayacamas and Ovid and is the co-owner and winemaker for Favia Wines and Leviathan. After working his first harvest at… Read Interview

Michael Etzel

Michael G. Etzel

Michael Etzel is the founding owner and president of Beaux Frères Vineyards in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Michael started his wine career when he and his brother-in-law, the famous wine critic Robert Parker… Read Interview

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Nick Farr

Nick Farr is considered one of Australia’s top young winemakers, and a specialist in Australian in pinot noir. He is co-owner and winemaker of Wines by Farr, which he runs alongside his father, the legendary Gary Farr.… Read Interview

Dorothy J. Gaiter

Dorothy J. Gaiter wrote the Wall Street Journal’s wine column, “Tastings,” from 1998 to 2010 with her husband, John Brecher. Her distinguished 30-year career includes stints as a reporter, editor, columnist and editorial writer at the Miami Herald and the New York Times, as well as at the Journal. … Read Interview

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Jeff Gargiulo

Jeff Gargiulo is the founder of Gargiulo Vineyards, one of the top small producers of cabernet sauvignon in Oakville, in the Napa Valley. He was CEO of his family’s tomato business, Gargiulo Inc. and is now co-owner of Greenleaf SF, a purveyor of organic, locally grown produce in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jeff and his wife Valerie are founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival in Naples, Florida.… Read Interview

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Kate Goodman

Kate Goodman has been making wine for almost 30 years, currently as Chief Winemaker at Penley Estate in Coonawarra, Australia, as well as for her own brands Goodman and Nikkal in Victoria. She was awarded the 2018 Australian Women in Wine ‘Winemaker of the Year’. … Read Interview

Dennis Groth

Dennis and Judy Groth founded Groth Vineyards & Winery in 1981 in the heart of the Napa Valley in what is today the Oakville AVA. The 1985 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve was the first California wine ever to receive a 100-point score from wine critic Robert M. Parker. … Read Interview

Bill Harlan

Bill Harlan is the founder and owner of Harlan Estate in Oakville, in the Napa Valley. The Harlan Estate wine a cabernet blend, is considered one of California’s greatest wines, and a wine highly sought after by collectors worldwide.… Read Interview

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Stephen Henschke

In honor of Australia Day, January 26, we bring you our interview with fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Carl Henschke. We sat down with Stephen last October, so our interview means all the more to us now as we’ve learned that several of his vineyards and the majority of the upcoming vintage were destroyed in the ongoing bush fires.… Read Interview

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David Howell

David Howell is a retired research geologist who spent 30 years with the U.S. Geological Survey. Since 1990, when he collaborated with fellow geologist and friend Jonathan Swinchatt on the video Earth Nectar, the Wines of Napa Valley and… Read Interview

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Geneviève Janssens

Geneviève Janssens is Chief Winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery as well as the winemaker and co-owner, with her husband Luc, of Portfolio Limited Edition. … Read Interview

Eugenia Keegan

Eugenia Keegan is General Manager of Jackson Family Wines’s fast-growing Oregon winery portfolio in the Willamette Valley. Actively civic-minded, Keegan is the chair emerita of the board of directors of the Oregon Wine Board, and serves on the boards of the Oregon Winegrowers Association and the Willamette Valley Wineries Association.… Read Interview

Robin Lail

Robin Lail is the founding winemaker and partner at Lail Vineyards. Her extensive background and history in the Napa Valley have given her a unique perspective on the valley and its wines.… Read Interview

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Bret Lopez

Bret Lopez became a professional photographer at age fifteen. At age sixteen, a staff assignment with Contemporary Records led to portraits of jazz greats Ray Brown, Ornette Coleman, Art Pepper, Chick Corea and many others. In 2003, Bret moved to the family retreat and vineyard estate left to him by his late grandfather, Hollywood producer J.J. Cohn’s. In 2013, with his wife and creative partner, Mimi DeBlasio, Bret launched Scarecrow , one of the top wines of the Napa Valley. … Read Interview

Tim Lovett

Tim Lovett

Tim Lovett has been the Senior Winemaker at Leeuwin Estates, one of the most prestigious wineries in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, since 2016. … Read Interview

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Carole Meredith

Carole Meredith was a professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California at Davis. She conducted ground-breaking research in grape genetics, using DNA typing to discover the origins of some of the greatest old wine varieties, including cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, syrah, and zinfandel. … Read Interview

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Tim Mondavi

Tim Mondavi is the winegrower and partner of Continuum Estate, founded in 2005 with his sister Marcia Mondavi Borger and late father Robert.… Read Interview

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Beth Novak Milliken

Beth Novak Milliken is the President and CEO of her family’s historic and deeply respected Spottswoode winery in Napa Valley. She was elected in 1998 as the youngest president of the Napa Valley Vintners Association and the first woman to hold that position, and she remains on the board of directors today.… Read Interview

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Rajat Parr

Rajat “Raj” Parr is a James Beard award-winning sommelier and winemaker. He has been the Wine Director at the Fifth Floor as well as the Mina Group with over 25 restaurants around the world, and his wine lists have earned him four Grand Awards from Wine Spectator. Wine Spectator. He has co-founded Sandhi Wines and Domaine de la Côte in California’s Sta. Rita Hills, and Evening Land Vineyards in Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills.… Read Interview

Françoise Peschon

Françoise Peschon was the long-time winemaker for the famous Napa Valley winery Araujo and is now the consulting winemaker for three small, exclusive estates: Cornell, Vine Hill Ranch, and Accendo … Read Interview

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Dan Petroski

Dan Petroski is the winemaker at Larkmead Vineyards, an historic estate in the Napa Valley, and the founder and owner of Massican, one of the few Napa wineries to focus on top-notch white wines exclusively.… Read Interview

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Chris Phelps

Chris Phelps is the founder and winemaker of Ad Vivum, a top cabernet producer in the Napa Valley. He studied viticulture and enology at the university of Bordeaux as well as the University of California at Davis. During the famous 1982 vintage, he lived and worked at Château Pétrus in Bordeaux.… Read Interview

Aaron Pott

After graduating from the University of California, Davis, with an enology degree, Aaron Pott attended the University of Burgundy where he received a master’s degree in viticulture. In 1990, he became the assistant winemaker at… Read Interview

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Linda Reiff

Linda Reiff is President and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. Reiff was named Wine Enthusiast’s Person of the Year for 2019—only the second woman to win the award since it was first given in 2000. … Read Interview

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Jancis Robinson

Jancis Robinson is one of the most globally renowned British wine writers. She has written multiple important encyclopedic wine books, including The Oxford Companion Guide to Wine, Wine Grapes (with Julia Harding), The World Atlas of Wine (with Hugh Johnson)… Read Interview

Rick Small

Rick Small is the founder of Woodward Canyon Winery, one of the two pioneering wineries in Washington State’s Walla Walla Valley. As such, he is considered one of the “founding fathers” of Walla Walla’s dynamic wine industry.… Read Interview

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Pam Starr

Pam Starr established Crocker & Starr in 1997 with Charlie Crocker, great grandson of Charles Crocker, founder of the Central Pacific Railroad. Starr partnered with the San Francisco businessman to resurrect the 100-year-old vineyard he purchased in 1971. The winery’s 100-acre estate vineyard in St. Helena sits on land that has grown grapes since the 1870s… Read Interview

Rupert Symington

Rupert Symington is the CEO of Symington Family Estates, which includes the famous Port shippers Graham’s, Dow’s, Warre’s, and Cockburn’s, among others. The Symington family has produced Port since 1882 when Rupert’s great-grandfather,… Read Interview

Ron Washam

Ron Washam is one of the few satirists writing about the wine industry. His much loved and much feared blog TheHoseMasterofWine was published from 2008 until 2019. … Read Interview

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Karen Williams

Karen Williams is the founder and owner of ACME Fine Wines in Saint Helena, Napa Valley, a gallery-style wine showroom with a focus on first-release Napa Valley wines plus highly regarded wines of the world.… Read Interview

Kevin Zraly

Kevin Zraly

Kevin Zraly may be best known as the wine director for the Windows on the World restaurant and founder of the Windows on the World Wine School on the top floors of the former 1 World Trade Center in New York, NY.… Read Interview