Emma Swain – CEO of St. Supery Vineyards & Winery
Judd Finkelstein – Owner of Judd’s Hill Winery
Judd was raised in Napa Valley. He graduated from The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication at Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in Television Production, but you might say winemaking was in his blood. Since he was a tot, his parents were making wine. From pruning to picking to punching to pressing, Judd has been involved in every facet of winemaking, and he also studied winemaking at UC Davis and Napa Valley College.
One of Judd's other passions is playing his ukulele, both solo and with his band, The Maikai Gents Featuring The Mysterious Miss Mauna Loa. "We perform old-time Hawaiian crooning in the Hapa-Haole style. We started because I wanted some Hawaiian music for a birthday luau I was having for myself and couldn't get the entertainer I wanted. We learned a few Hawaiian tunes and performed them at the party. My friends and family loved it, of course, but the funny thing was that the resort asked us back for a festival they were having later that spring! So we learned some more songs and have been gigging ever since." Why the ukulele?" Someone needed to play it! We thought a ukulele would round out our sound....and I haven't put it down in three years!" Judd has also started a ukulele club in the Napa Valley, The Wine Country Flea Jumpers. You can learn more - and hear what it all sounds like---at www.mkgents.com. Judd and Holly enjoy simple dinner parties for friends; one of their specialties is concocting tropical taste treats for the luau set!
David Duncan – CEO of Silver Oak Cellars
Ed Matovcik – President of Intervine, Inc.
Intervine is a fully-licensed importer, wholesaler and retailer of wine specializing in the travel industry. For more than 20 years it has served all major domestic and international airlines and cruise lines including American, Delta/Northwest, United, Continental, US Airways, Virgin America, Singapore, Lufthansa, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Jet Blue, All Nippon Airways, KLM, Asiana, Qantas, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Seabourn, Windjammer, Norwegian and Princess Cruise Lines. Offering a full international portfolio, it currently represents wineries through its worldwide distribution network.
Russ Weis – GM of Silverado Vineyards
Russ was born into a family of grape growers in Madera, California. As a boy, he spent many days and nights working side by side in the vineyards with his father and grandfather. This rural California experience proved to be the foundation of a career in fine wine that would take Russ to every corner of the globe.
Russ first moved to the Napa Valley in 1981 to pursue degrees in Literature and French at Pacific Union College. While an undergraduate Russ spent a year in Haut-Savoie in France. Rumors still circulate that he did more skiing than studying. Upon graduation in 1985, he taught English language and literature at a small liberal arts college in Japan.
In 1987, Russ returned to Napa and joined the Christian Brothers Winery in St. Helena, California as a tour guide, eventually working his way up to a position in Public Relations. He worked closely with Christian Brothers’ legendary winemaker, Brother Timothy. His familiarity with foreign countries and languages was well known to Christian Brothers’ ownership, International Distillers & Vintners Ltd. who made Russ their Global Brand Manager for California Wines in 1990.
In 1993, Russ joined the Robert Mondavi Winery where he led the Asia/Pacific export business. He held several posts with Mondavi, including Director of Public Relations for Opus One. In 2000, Russ was named Mondavi Winery’s Senior Vice President for International Business Development, a position he held until joining Silverado Vineyards in 2004.
When he’s not busy touting the virtues of Silverado Vineyards wines, Russ enjoys playing piano and admits to “a bad game of golf.” He’s also involved in a personal wine project with partners in Spain’s Priorat region.
He’s a member of the Board of Directors of the Stags Leap District Association, the International Programs Committee of the Napa Valley Vintners and serves on the board of the Napa Valley Symphony.
Russ lives near Yountville with his wife, Laurie, and their daughter, Josephine. The Weis family still lives on and farms the vineyards in Madera where Russ grew up.
Jean-Charles Boisset – Boisset Family Estates
Friday, May 31, 2013
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