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


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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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. Merry has a Master’s Degree from the University of California at Davis. In 1974 she was hired as the winemaker of … Read Interview

andy erickson winemaker

Andy Erickson

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

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. Bill is a native Californian and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in communications and public policy.… Read Interview

Robin Lail

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. Robin… 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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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. In 1984 he became the founding winemaker at Dominus Estate in the Napa Valley, owned by the Moueix Family which owns Château Pétrus.… 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

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. Rick studied agriculture at Washington State University and is a self-taught winemaker. Today, along with his wife Darcey and children Jordan and Sager, he continues… 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

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Karen Williams

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. Karen studied psychology at the University of Georgia. She was introduced to wine… Read Interview