Francis Ford Coppola
Humberto Berlanga – Winemaker
Associate Winemaker Humberto Berlanga has over 18 years of winemaking and process improvement history in Napa and Sonoma county. Born and raised in the bustling downtown area of Mexico City, Humberto Berlanga spent his first two years after college graduation teaching chemistry and working in the biomedical industry. A graduate from the engineering focused National Polytechnic Institute in chemistry and microbiology, Humberto decided that it was time for a change of scenery and moved to Northern California in search of his professional path in the wine industry.
Humberto started his winemaking career at Sebastiani Vineyards in the Sonoma Valley, which led him to positions at William Hill Winery in Napa and Simi Winery in Healdsburg, before joining the winemaking team at Geyser Peak Winery in 1997, located in the same facilities that now are home to Virginia Dare Winery in Geyserville.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery acquired these facilities in 2014 and Humberto was retained as Associate Winemaker for Virginia Dare Winery, currently focused on producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the coveted Russian River Valley.
Geyser Peak Winery
Chief Winemaker, Accolade Wines (owner of Geyser Peak Winery)
Continuing an enviable winemaking record that stretches across more than 160 years, Accolade’s 19th Chief Winemaker – Paul Lapsley – is committed to continued innovation in the great Australian blending tradition pioneered by Thomas Hardy.
Paul has been involved in winemaking for more than 35 years, and in that time he has demonstrated a passion for his craft in many of Australia’s premium winegrowing regions. He started in the Hunter Valley, “best place in the world for semillon, medium bodied shiraz and coal dust, and it’s close to Sydney where I grew up, (though my place of birth is Hong Kong, I’m sure my entry into wine was the conditioning I experienced by smelling the ‘fragrant harbour’). My journey continued across Australia taking in the Swan Valley at Houghton, dabbling in the aromatic whites of Western Australia, and wonderfully complex reds of Margaret River and Frankland.”
During vintage you’ll find Paul spending most of the time in the vineyard.
“I am, above all, a grape man. It’s the vineyard that gives wine its greatness, the winemaker then combines their vision, innovation and courage as an extra layer, producing compelling wines of finesse, flavour and complexity. We are only as good as our next wine, there’s too much competition for back patting and self-reflection. We need to keep delivering wines of great value and interest, be they commercial or premium offerings.”
As he approaches his ninth vintage as Chief Winemaker, he is still bounding across this vast country assessing the fruit and potential blends which he hopes you will enjoy in coming years. ”Our company is brilliantly poised to continue the evolution of wine styles, regions and stimulating blends. In our exciting portfolio of wines I’m sure our customers will find a wine that will enhance that special occasion wherever they may be in the world.”
Ridgely Evers and Colleen McGlynn – Founding Owners
Ridge bought the land in 1982, but it really came into its own when Colleen came on the scene in 1993.
Colleen grew up on a family farm in rural Wisconsin, so her love for the land and farming is deeply ingrained. Her parents had ten children to feed, so cooking was a focal point in the McGlynn household. Colleen carried that passion for fresh, farm-raised food into her professional career as a chef.
Ridge, meanwhile, grew up in suburban Cleveland where despite the fact that everything came either frozen or wrapped in plastic he developed a real love for great food, and the land. When he first came to California in 1967, he knew it was where he wanted to live. And when he first saw the farm in 1982 he knew he’d found home. He’s had a long career in high-tech, but always in parallel with the farm, and it’s clear where his heart and passion are.
They share a commitment to creating a multi-generation, farm-based business that is economically, agricuturally, and environmentally sustainable.
Their love for what they do, and their passion for quality, are infectious.
Ann and Jack Seifrick – Founding Partners
Ann and Jack Seifrick, both Ohio natives who arrived in California via many years living, working and raising two daughters in Texas, have combined their love of the Sonoma County wine country with their energetic, entrepreneurial spirits to create Cast Wines. Ann’s background is in finance. Jack’s is in real estate, design and banking. Both are passionate about the people, food, beauty and active, outdoor lifestyle that they have enjoyed while visiting wine destinations around the world. The opportunity to invite a small group of friends to partner and team up with talented winemaker Mike Gulyash to acquire an absolutely beautiful property in Dry Creek Valley and then craft delicious wines to share in a relaxed and peaceful setting has been both challenging and exhilarating. Starting with the 2012 harvest, a small quantity of wines have been produced annually, with release of Cast’s first wines to the public in a new onsite tasting terrace commencing on Memorial Day weekend 2014. The name “Cast” comes from the Spell that was Cast upon us when we first visited this vineyard – a spell that we hope to preserve and share with visitors through our wines and our careful use of the land for many years to come.