Team 2018-11-16T20:17:51+00:00
Jessup Cellars Team

Our Team

Jessup Cellars’ core values of Connection, Uniquely Us, Collective Joy and Pursuit of Excellence provide the foundation for our teams’ actions and aspirations. Our mission is to deliver WOW experiences by empowering each other to make deep, lasting connections and view every idea through the lens of a trailblazer.

Our vision is to be the number one customer experience winery in the world.

Over the past several years, Jessup Cellars has won numerous awards including CellarPass’ ‘Friendliest & Most Knowledgeable Staff’ two years in a row, Napa Valley Life magazine’s ‘Best Wine Club’ and, recently, Yountville’s ‘Business of the Year’.

Below, we introduce you to our work family – all who make earning these awards possible. We look forward to hosting you in Wine Country, bringing our ‘Tasting Room without Walls’ to your home, or helping with whatever your needs may be….

~ The Jessup Cellars Team

Miguel Alcaraz

Finance Manager

Hometown: Michoacan, Mexico – Residing in the town of Sonoma since age of 12

Favorite Jessup Cellars Pairing: Table for Four with Hanger steak, and reduced cabernet sauce with mushrooms and onions.

About: Soccer aficionado, favorite team FC Barcelona, plays soccer regularly in local leagues.

Jay Aranda

Dedicated Wine Liaison

Hometown: Vallejo, California

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc with Seafood Paella.

About: Jay cherishes the love of his large extended family and appreciates the priceless blessing of a tight-knit circle of friends. Having sailed the West Indies, traveled across Europe–ending with a two-year residence in Valencia Spain–he now enjoys the simple pleasures of basking in the warm California sun, sipping wine and fully engrossed in a good book. Jay strives to live a life of “Service, Purpose, Meaning and Impact.” His motto: “Collect Moments Not Things.”

Christina Beverly

Project Manager

Hometown: Golden, Colorado

Favorite Pairing: Table For Four with Ribeye steak, mashed potatoes and asparagus

About: Christina first joined the Jessup family back in 2008 after graduating from college in Colorado with degrees in hospitality and business administration. Upon moving to Napa Valley, she quickly realized her love of wine, food and unique experiences. She has enjoyed spreading her time over the years in various areas of the company, including the Tasting Gallery, Membership & Hospitality, Marketing and Administration. Her spare time is happily spent with her husband, Matt, and their beloved dog, Hamilton.

Matt Beverly

Senior Wine Curator

Hometown: Northglenn, Colorado

About: Matt is a “lifer” in the service industry. Serving and cooking in restaurants since he I was 14, set the foundation for his love of food and wine. He moved to the Napa Valley in 2008 with his wife Christina (look to the left) to continue his passion for cooking. He was quickly absorbed into the wine industry and has been pouring wine for guests from all over the world for 10 years now. His favorite trips are those spent with Christina, mainly in Italy and Mexico. He grew up in Colorado, and will never lose his outdoor spirit. Hiking, hunting, fishing, biking, camping are all activities he actively pursues on a weekly basis.

Favorite Jessup Cellars Pairing: Petite Sirah and apple wood smoked BBQ Brisket.

Frederick Boelen

Tasting Gallery Lead

Hometown: Honfleur, France
Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: Zinfandel Port with anything chocolate.
About: Frederick grew up in France, studied in the UK and Spain (where he met his Georgia Peach). After working several years in his own family businesses in hospitality & wine, he decided to move to the US and continue his family’s long tradition in the wine industry with Jessup! He’s passionate about wine, fly fishing, food and kitesurfing.

Cynthia Carey

Resident Artist & Curator

Hometown: San Francisco

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: A glass of Jessup Cellars Pinot Noir and a gallery full of beautiful art.

About: Cynthia has studied art throughout most of her life. The educational experience that Cynthia considers one her most important and influential was time she spent studying under Nathan Oliveira at Stanford University. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe with her main focus on studying the art and artists of the region. Her works are in numerous public and private collections.

Shannon Difilippo

Marketing & Office Assistant

Hometown: Juneau, Alaska

Favorite Pairing: A perfectly chilled Rosé with Scalloped Potato & Pancetta Pizza fired in their own backyard pizza oven.

About: Astounding natural beauty is one memory Shannon has growing up in Alaska so when it was time to find a place to call home and raise their two daughters, Napa’s stunning landscapes and Epicurean lifestyle was an easy choice! Her travel industry career offered opportunities to explore fascinating destinations worldwide while making memories that will last a lifetime. Inspired by new experiences, interesting people and a true passion for food, wine & art – Jessup Cellars is clearly the perfect fit.

Bailey Downing

Director of Member & Guest Services

Hometown: Napa, California

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: Jessup Cellars Zinfandel with her Grandma’s gumbo

About: Bailey is a graduate of Southern Oregon University where she played softball and is now happily “retired” from the sport. Her best vacation was a cruise to Mexico with three of her best friends. The “Burger from Hell” at the Coyote Bluff Café in Amarillo, TX is her most memorable culinary experience.

AJ Eisiminger

Director of Sales & Operations

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Favorite Pairing: Jessup Cellars Cabernet Franc and Tri-Tip from Buster’s BBQ

About: Growing up in Napa and having an older brother involved in the restaurant industry gave A.J. an appreciation early on for wine and food. That appreciation turned into a passion and now A.J. is currently doing his best to pursue the “good life” and share his love of wine and food with as many people as possible!

Megan Fifield

Wine Curator

Hometown: Pope Valley, CA

Megan has always lived in wine country, however until joining the Jessup Cellars family, her background has never been in the wine industry.  She went to school for automotive and is a certified mechanic. She also has a diploma in small business management.  As a mechanic, Megan specialized in custom fabrication and audio for many years, and although she still enjoys the automotive industry, she has always had a passion for hospitality – Meeting new people, hearing personal stories, creating memories and simply enjoying our surroundings.  Megan joined the Jessup Cellars family after meeting one of the owner couples, Vance and Jana Thompson.  She says she feels lucky to be here and is so happy to be part of the team.  Her most important role is being “Mom” to Hobie, her precious pup (He is usually around on Tuesdays – Come in and say hi!)

Favorite Jessup Pairing: Petite Sirah with steak, mashed potatoes and mushrooms!  OR dark chocolate 🙂

Jaxon Garcia

Tasting Room Support

Hometown: Napa, CA

Born and raised in Napa, and having a father in the wine industry, it was inevitable for Jaxon to get into the world of wine. Working in restaurants and various tasting rooms since high school, hospitality has been second nature to Jaxon. He enjoys “living the dream in Napa”and is thankful for the opportunity to raise his daughter in a gorgeous town while being able to meet wonderful people from around the world.

Favorite Jessup Pairing: “Table For Four’ and Tri Tip

Elise Kuhar-Pitters

Manager – Personal Wine Experience Team

Hometown: Spokane, Washington

About: Elise came to the Napa Valley in 2012 after graduating from the University of Memphis in Tennessee with degrees in Fashion Merchandising and Home Furnishings. While in college, she played soccer for the Lady Tigers, with one of her favorite memories being the teams’ trip to compete in Argentina. Shortly after moving to California, she happened into the wine business, joining the Jessup Cellars family in March 2013. Ever since, Elise has been fascinated with the intricacies of learning about wine and all the experiences surrounding it. Travel, music and movies are also among her many passions.

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: Zinfandel with anything barbecued!

Elise is the Manager of the Personal Wine Experience Team, which travels the country to bring the Jessup Cellars and Handwritten Wines experiences directly to our members! She would love to host an event with you in the near future. Please reach out to her at elise@tglwc.com for more information.   

Aaron Lahey

Wine Curator

Hometown: San Francisco, California

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: 2009 Zinfandel Port with a crumbly Gorgonzola cheese.

About: Aaron discovered his passion for the world of food and flavor at the young age of 14, when he started apprenticing under some of the top chefs in San Francisco. After cooking at a number of bay area restaurants (and graduating with a BA in Psychology), he found his true calling in wine and spirits. A culinary Renaissance man of sorts, Aaron has a passion for anything flavor related, and his varied culinary background brings a unique perspective to the Jessup Cellars Tasting Room!

Brian Lee

Wine Curator I

Hometown: Anaheim, California

Favorite Jessup Pairing: Trousseau Gris with Thomas Keller’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken

About: Brian hails from sunny Southern California, making him a walking target whenever he dons his Dodger Blue in the Bay Area. In his free time he enjoys art, music and literature, and hopes to one day write an epic work of historical fiction. He studied History and Theology in college and sums up the meaning of life in the following quote: “After all these years, I have begun to wonder if the secret of living well is not in having all the answers, but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.” – Rachel Naomi Remen

Rob Lloyd

Executive Winemaker

Hometown: All of California

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: Carneros Chardonnay with freshly caught Mahi-Mahi

About: Rob’s best vacation ever was wine tasting across Europe with his wife, Bonnie, on their honeymoon. They now enjoy life in Napa with their two daughters. Rob received his Masters Degree in Enology in 1999 from UC Davis interning at Kent Rasmussen Winery. He has made wine for La Crema and Rombauer Vineyards.

Kristin Lopez

Administrative Assistant

Hometown: Upland, California

About: Born in Southern California, Kristin grew up in the Napa Valley. As a hyper rambunctious kid she admits she couldn’t appreciate the beauty around her. As she got into her teens she started to appreciate the hard work and beauty of tending the vines and making wine, though still unaware that there was so much more to it than fermented grapes. Working is hospitality gave Kristin a passion and love for people and customer service. Thanks to friends and family, she was introduced to some of Napa Valley’s most delicious wines ­– two of those being Jessup Cellars and Handwritten.

Favorite Jessup Cellars Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc with steamed rice and Kristin’s homemade fish tacos.

Mike Lutz

Dedicated Wine Liaison

Hometown: Colusa, CA

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: Manny’s Blend with Short Ribs.

About: Mike has spent his entire career in hospitality. For 7 years he worked for some of the top private country clubs in both Scottsdale Arizona and Couer de’ Alene Idaho. It was those clubs where he discovered his passion for wine. For the past 8 years he has worked for a couple of wineries, but truly believes he has found his forever home. “The people here, from the members to the staff, are just amazing! I feel truly blessed to be a part of such an outstanding culture.” He and his wife reside in Sacramento where they both enjoy Sunday football days, and trying out new recipes together in the kitchen.

Carlos Marquez

Wine Curator

Hometown: Sonoma, California

Favorite Jessup Cellars Wine Pairing: Virtually any food with ‘Table for Four’

Growing up, I wasn’t around wine much even though I lived in wine country. Throughout high school and post-graduation, my career goal was to be an athletic trainer. While playing for the Santa Rosa Junior College men’s soccer team in 2012, I first got my foot in the wine industry working at Bennett Lane Winery. This is where my passion for wine grew. My love of sports continues, especially my passion for playing soccer.

Chris Mazzo

Senior Manager – Personal Wine Experiences Team

Hometown: Laguna Beach, California

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: Jessup Cellars Zinfandel with root beer braised short ribs.

About: Chris is a world traveler; having lived in Toronto, Canada, Rome, Italy and gone on Safari in Kenya, his favorite place remains London, England. Chris is a big fan of the LA Angels of Anaheim and loves to surf, play Frisbee golf and hike.

Tracy McArdle

General Manager

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: Carneros Chardonnay with juicy fried chicken

About: Tracy says her most memorable culinary experience was the first time she had soft shell crab as a child. “I was so nervous but I took one bite and LOVED it! I can still see my mother’s grin.” She attributes her love of food and wine to her mother. Rome was her favorite vacation spot and recalls being mesmerized by the Sistine Chapel.

Bernardo Munoz

Assistant Winemaker

Hometown: Campeche, Mex

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: 2010 Manny’s Blend with Mongolian Pork Chops from Mustards Grill – richness paired with richness

About: Bernardo began his career the vineyards, learning the intricacies of grape growing and how to adjust to the whims of Mother Nature. He then moved into the cellars at Jessup Cellars, bringing us his complete grape to bottle knowledge to the team. He has a keen understanding of what it takes to make a great bottle.

Joel Quigley

Vice President Marketing Communications

Hometown: Sebastopol, CA

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: Jessup Cellars wines and whatever partner we’re teaming with for our Tasting Gallery events – in other words, living and tasting for the moment!

About: A 20 year communications veteran in the wine business with a focus on building partnerships with other lifestyle businesses such as music, fashion, art and film. Love my family. Love to write. Love music and playing drums. Love a good party!

Zachary Scott

Cellar Crew

Kimberly Skog

Dedicated Wine Liaison

Hometown: Santa Rosa California

About Kimberly: Kimberly brings over 20 years of dedicated wine experience & passion. She loves anything to do with being outdoors, biking and hiking, boating, with her most favorite thing to do is camping with her husband. And time with family! She adores being a mother of two beautiful daughters and now she gets to enjoy grandchildren.

Favorite Jessup wine hard to say as she love them all, but if she had to pick it would be the Juel blend, it has so many layers of complex flavors. A wine that feels like you can pair with almost any meal, or even just by its self!

Laurel Thomas

Wine Curator

Hometown: Nashville, Tennesee

Favorite Jessup Wine Pairing: Petite Sirah with venison and huckleberry sauce

About: Laurel’s best vacation was a trip to Paris followed by a train ride to Nice and a sailing ship cruise through the Mediterranean and Italian Riviera. She might be called a romantic . . .favorite movie, “The Thomas Crown Affair.”

Victor Torres

Cellar Crew 

Andrew Vasquez

Director of Customer Loyalty

Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Pairing: Jessup Cellars Zinfandel with rack of lamb cooked in a delicious jammy sweetness of a fig-sauce.

About: Andrew’s two passions are travel & politics. Having travelled most of the world, worked on two Presidental campaigns and working for several charities, he has adopted a broaden worldview. He discovered his love of wine in a small town on the South Island of New Zealand. That bottle of Sauv Blanc changed the course of his professional life. It was that good! Before joining the wine industry he studied at UCSB and received a B.A. in Political Science. He resides in Santa Rosa where he loves spending time with his family and playing baseball with his two small boys along with their chocolate lab, Marley. SF Giants at AT&T Park is his “happy” place

Emily Wilkens

Hospitality & Membership Specialist

Hometown: Napa, California

About: Emily naturally made her way into the wine industry and joined the Jessup Cellars family in January of 2017. She is passionate about raising her three kids and enjoys volunteering for the local baseball, football, and cheer teams. Emily and her kids love dog-sitting Hamilton, co-worker Christina Beverly’s beloved dog (look to your right), who spends a lot of time bringing joy to our winery.

Favorite Jessup Pairing: Chardonnay with fried chicken.

Whitney Woltz

Guest Relations 

Hometown: Napa, California

Whitney was born and raised in the Napa Valley. Although her parents are not in the wine industry, her older sister is, which is where Whitney discovered her love for wine and her joy for making people happy. Most of Whitney’s time is spent with her two dogs Cyrus and Dingo, who she says are her world! She also has a huge passion for science and has her A.A in Natural Sciences and Mathematics. She is so happy to be part of the Jessup family!

Favorite Jessup Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc with a fried chicken sandwich!

Grant Wood

Tasting Gallery Lead

Hometown: Napa, CA

Favorite Jessup Cellars Pairing: Juel paired with slow cooked pork shoulder on the grill with shredded Brussels sprouts, bacon and wild mushrooms.

Grant grew up in the AVA of Coombsville in the beautiful countryside east of downtown Napa. Though his parents were not in the wine industry, he naturally fell in love with the surrounding vineyards. He was fortunate enough to work in catering in Napa where he was introduced to amazing chefs that gave him his first lessons on how to taste and appreciate wine. This inspired Grant to pursue a career in wine.

He is now a Diploma student for Wine and Spirits Education Trust and working his way through the Court of Master Sommeliers. His goal is to further his career in the wine industry and share great wine with friends and family.

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