The People

Gavin Newsom

Founder

Gavin Newsom is a fourth-generation San Franciscan who was elected to consecutive terms as Mayor of the city and now serves as Lieutenant Governor of California. Over the years, Newsom has worked tirelessly in the public sector to revitalize MUNI, restore neighborhood parks, combat homelessness and protect diversity.

Gavin Newsom is a fourth-generation San Franciscan who was elected to consecutive terms as Mayor of the city and now serves as Lieutenant Governor of California. Over the years, Newsom has worked tirelessly in the public sector to revitalize MUNI, restore neighborhood parks, combat homelessness and protect diversity.

Also an entrepreneur and wine enthusiast, Newsom, with philanthropist Gordon Getty, opened PlumpJack Wines on Fillmore St. in San Francisco, in 1992. Their vision was to demystify the wine-buying experience by providing a friendly and approachable atmosphere. Today this vision has expanded to include an expanding portfolio of hospitality businesses including PlumpJack Winery, Odette Winery, CADE Winery.

Newsom lives in Marin County with his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom and their four children.

Gordon Getty

Founder

The music of the American composer Gordon Getty has been widely performed in North America and Europe in such prestigious venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Royal Festival Hall, Vienna’s Brahmssaal, and Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and Bolshoi Theatre, as well as at the Aspen, Spoleto, and Bad Kissingen Festivals. In 1986, he was honored as an Outstanding American Composer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and he was awarded the 2003 Gold Baton of the American Symphony Orchestra League.

Composer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, Gordon’s role in our collection of wineries has directed some of our boldest endeavors, including our use of screw cap technology.

The music of the American composer Gordon Getty has been widely performed in North America and Europe in such prestigious venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Royal Festival Hall, Vienna’s Brahmssaal, and Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and Bolshoi Theatre, as well as at the Aspen, Spoleto, and Bad Kissingen Festivals. In 1986, he was honored as an Outstanding American Composer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and he was awarded the 2003 Gold Baton of the American Symphony Orchestra League.

Getty has recently devoted considerable attention to a pair of one-act operas, Usher House (derived from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher) and The Canterville Ghost (after Oscar Wilde’s tale). The former will be premiered in 2014 by the Welsh National Opera. Getty’s first opera, Plump Jack, involving adventures of Shakespeare’s Sir John Falstaff, was premiered by the San Francisco Symphony in 1984 and has been revived by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, and London Philharmonia, among other ensembles. In 2011 the Munich Radio Orchestra and an international cast conducted by Ulf Schirmer performed a new concert version of Plump Jack, which was simulcast on Bavarian Radio and released in 2012 by PentaTone Classics. The same label is preparing the release of Usher House, with Lawrence Foster conducting the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon.

Getty, who studied at the San Francisco Conservatory, has produced a steady stream of compositions since the 1980s, beginning with The White Election (1981), a much- performed song cycle on poems by Emily Dickinson. It has been recorded twice — by Kaaren Erickson for Delos and by Lisa Delan for PentaTone — and has been performed in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and the Morgan Library (in New York), the Kennedy Center and National Gallery of Art (in Washington, D.C), and the Hermitage Theatre (in St. Petersburg, Russia), among many other venues. His three-song cycle Poor Peter (2005) was included by Lisa Delan and pianist Kristin Pankonin on their PentaTone recital And If the Song Be Worth a Smile, which features songs by six contemporary American composers.

Poetry from the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries has often inspired Getty in his vocal compositions. His choral works Victorian Scenes (1989, to texts by Tennyson and Housman) and Annabel Lee (1990, to a poem by Poe) were premiered by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Sinfonia at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Michael Tilson Thomas led the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus in Annabel Lee in 1998 and 2004, on the latter occasion also premiering Getty’s Young America (2001), a cycle of six movements for chorus and orchestra to texts by the composer and by Stephen Vincent Benét. Joan and the Bells, a cantata portraying the trial and execution of Joan of Arc, has been performed widely since its 1998 premiere, notably in a 2004 revival in St. George’s Chapel of Windsor Castle, under the baton of Mikhail Pletnev. In 2005, PentaTone released a CD of Getty’s principal choral works up to that time, performed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (Michael Tilson Thomas conducting) and the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and Russian National Orchestra (conducted by Alexander Verdernikov). Getty has recently completed choral works based on Keats’ La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl, and an original poem that he modeled on Masefield, The Old Man in the Night. He has written a new setting of the traditional text Hodie Christus Natus Est for children’s chorus or women’s chorus accompanied by chamber ensemble, and is currently expanding that into a triptych of similarly scored Christmas pieces.

Although most of Getty’s works feature the voice, he has also written for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and solo piano. In 2010, PentaTone released a CD devoted to six of his orchestral pieces, with Sir Neville Marriner conducting the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and in 2013 it followed up with a CD of the composer’s solo-piano works played by Conrad Tao. Currently in preparation is a PentaTone CD of his chamber music, which will include a string-quartet version of his Four Traditional Pieces, a work that was performed in a string-orchestra arrangement by Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra in 2012. Other recent performances of particular note featured his ballet Ancestor Suite, which in 2009 was given its premiere staging, with choreography by Vladimir Vasiliev, by the Bolshoi Ballet and Russian National Orchestra at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, and was then presented at the 2012 Festival del Sole in Napa, California.

Of his compositions Getty has said: “My style is undoubtedly tonal, though with hints of atonality, such as any composer would likely use to suggest a degree of disorientation. But I’m strictly tonal in my approach. I represent a viewpoint that stands somewhat apart from the twentieth century, which was in large measure a repudiation of the nineteenth and a sock in the nose to sentimentality. Whatever it was that the great Victorian composers and poets were trying to achieve, that’s what I’m trying to achieve.” Getty’s music is published by Rork Music.

John Conover

General Manager

John Conover joined PlumpJack Winery as general manager in January 1999 to oversee the daily operations of the estate winery and vineyard, provide strategic direction for the newly-established property, steadily increase production from 1,000 cases to 10,000 cases annually, and create the image, awareness and global distribution channels that would ultimately support that level of production.

John Conover joined PlumpJack Winery as general manager in January 1999 to oversee the daily operations of the estate winery and vineyard, provide strategic direction for the newly-established property, steadily increase production from 1,000 cases to 10,000 cases annually, and create the image, awareness and global distribution channels that would ultimately support that level of production.

The critical and fiscal success of PlumpJack Winery ultimately inspired the purchase of a new 54-acre property on Howell Mountain. CADE Winery, founded in 2005 by partners Conover, Gordon Getty and Gavin Newsom, is nestled against dramatic slopes at an elevation of 1800 feet. The grapes grow in soil characterized by mountain ash and minerals, and the temperatures provide the perfect conditions for ripening, producing grapes with balance and density.
From the outset of this new endeavor, the partners were committed to building CADE as the first Gold LEED-certified estate winery. “No one had ever attempted this, even the contractors, so the responsibility fell to us to develop a completely original plan,” says Conover. “We used everything from recycled concrete to insulation made from blue jeans. We incorporated solar panels to minimize the amount of electricity we use on the premises and utilized renewable cork flooring. We also made the commitment to be extremely careful with water use. Since it’s opening, CADE has served as a model for those seeking this level of green building, from UC Davis to other private winery ventures,” Conover concludes.
With CADE’s success mirroring that of PlumpJack’s, the three partners were open to a third winery when the opportunity to purchase an historic property in Stags Leap was presented in the fall of 2011. Soon thereafter, in February 2012, they founded Odette Estate. Odette, which spans 45 acres and is currently in the late stages of development, will also be Gold LEED certified and farmed organically. The winery’s first vintage, a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, was released in February 2015 and received high awards from wine critics, securing a position for Odette among its celebrated siblings.

In October 2016, Conover oversaw the purchase of an 82-acre vineyard site adjacent to CADE. The acquired vineyards are planted to 74 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and three acres of Sauvignon Blanc, providing a significant increase in premium quality, estate vineyard grapes for the CADE winemaking team.

“This is an extraordinarily exciting step for us as we approach CADE Estate’s tenth vintage,” said Conover. The winery, the 13th to be built in the state of California, was one of the Napa Valley’s early gravity-flow facilities featuring the most modern technology of the era. “As leaders in in green grapegrowing, winemaking and architectural practices today, we feel a special kinship with this winery and the founders’ commitment to modernity and relevancy.”

Of his partners, Conover says, “I’m exceedingly fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop these properties alongside Gordon Getty and Gavin Newsom. We share an absolute passion for these three properties, our wines and our people. This level of alignment can be very rare and it is the foundation of our success.”

Conover spends time at each winery each day. “Running wineries isn’t something one does remotely,” he says. “It’s an agricultural business and requires a feet in the soil approach to management. It’s also a very human business and that means spending time with the people who are the bedrock of our organization.

On the topic of what makes him eager to start each new day after 30 years in the wine business, Conover credits the team. “Not a day goes by that I do not acknowledge what an honor it is to work with our winemakers: Aaron Miller at PlumpJack, Danielle Cyrot at CADE and Jeff Owens at Odette. These are among the best, brightest and most passionate individuals in the business. Their talent and level of commitment to their craft and their teams make me proud beyond words.” And,” Conover concludes, “I think anyone who’s been to any of the three wineries would agree that our hospitality team provides experiences that are nothing short of magical.”

Conover lives in St. Helena with his wife, Ann Marie, having raised two daughters who are now in their twenties. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of The Napa Valley Grape Growers.

Aaron Miller

Winemaker

As Head Winemaker for PlumpJack Winery, Aaron Miller brings twelve years of wide-ranging experience and an extensive education to the position, holding a Master of Science in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis. A California native, he found his calling in the wine industry and planted roots in Napa. Miller is dedicated to crafting Oakville Cabernet that not only showcases the terroir of the estate’s 42 acres, but also to crafting Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon in the PlumpJack style.

As Head Winemaker for PlumpJack Winery, Aaron Miller brings twelve years of wide-ranging experience and an extensive education to the position, holding a Master of Science in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis. A California native, he found his calling in the wine industry and planted roots in Napa. Miller is dedicated to crafting Oakville Cabernet that not only showcases the terroir of the estate’s 42 acres, but also to crafting Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon in the PlumpJack style.

“My goal is always to make wine that is strong enough to stand on its own, yet elegant enough to be enjoyed with food,” says Miller. “The soil profile at PlumpJack allows for such complexity – simultaneously light and dense. That diversity necessitates preparedness. When it comes to winemaking, I think ten steps ahead, and then act. Being well prepared is critical in order to find the balance between the science and the art of winemaking.”

Miller graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior before continuing on to receive his Masters.  After being published in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture and interning in Italy and New Zealand, Miller held positions at Groth Winery and Lewis Cellars. Miller, a life-long fermenter, can often be found brewing beer and making cheese when not spending his spare time with his wife and family.

Cortney Zolezzi

Enologist

It was a perfect fit, "The passion and enthusiasm for the new property was contagious and I knew I had found my home," Cortney elucidated.  Cortney spent 3 years at Odette Estate before being promoted to Enologist in June 2016 at PlumpJack Winery.  Cortney credits her success to the team at Odette, and is eager to begin her first harvest in another cabernet sauvignon powerhouse appellation, Oakville.

Cortney Zolezzi, Enologist, grew up surrounded by cherry, peach and walnut orchards in the small farming town of Linden, CA.  Cortney attended Fresno State with great ambitions of becoming a pharmacist, but as a freshman she toured the winery facility at Fresno State and simply fell in love.  It was the perfect combination of her two passions: agriculture and science.  She went to the admissions office and changed her major the very next day.

Cortney graduated in 2010 with a degree in Viticulture and Enology and immediately set her sights on a southern hemisphere harvest.  She worked at a huge custom crush facility in Blenheim, New Zealand called Indevin : Custom Winemakers.  While working there Cortney was able to work with several white grape varietals and expanded her knowledge of winemaking white wines in a diverse climate from her native California.  Returning to the states in August of 2011, Cortney took an internship at Lynmar Estate, expanding her winemaking knowledge with the help of their winemaker Bibiana Gonzales Rave (now Pisoni).  Bibiana, Cortney’s role model and mentor, taught Cortney the basics of managing a cellar and working with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, processing them from the vineyard all the way to the barrels.

The next year was a repeat of the year prior –  Cortney returned to both Indevin, as well as Lynmar, with each return allowing Cortney to take on a larger roll to refine her skills. After completion of harvest at Lynmar in 2012, it was time to stop bouncing from winery to winery and lay down some roots with a permanent role.  Cortney wanted to cut her teeth with a small, cutting-edge winery with people who she could respect and share her passion and dedication of making spectacular wine.  It didn’t take long for Cortney to find that place – in 2013 she joined the PlumpJack family at Odette Estate.  Odette Estate at the time, was a brand new winery with just one harvest under our belts. Not knowing what to expect from the wines since they were still young, it only took one sip for Cortney to realize this was something remarkable.

It was a perfect fit, “The passion and enthusiasm for the new property was contagious and I knew I had found my home,” Cortney elucidated.  Cortney spent 3 years at Odette Estate before being promoted to Enologist in June 2016 at PlumpJack Winery.  Cortney credits her success to the team at Odette, and is eager to begin her first harvest in another cabernet sauvignon powerhouse appellation, Oakville.

Sandra Roberts

Director of Sales

An invaluable part of the PlumpJack family since 2011, Sandra Roberts serves as the Director of Sales for PlumpJack, CADE and Odette Estate Wineries. Sandra is charged with overseeing all wholesale operations, as well as strategic planning for the three wineries. She contributes a wealth of experience from her two distinguished decades in the wine industry— having served as the first female executive for a prominent distributor in the Southeastern US to national sales positions for some of California’s most esteemed wineries.

An invaluable part of the PlumpJack family since 2011, Sandra Roberts serves as the Director of Sales for PlumpJack, CADE and Odette Estate Wineries. Sandra is charged with overseeing all wholesale operations, as well as strategic planning for the three wineries. She contributes a wealth of experience from her two distinguished decades in the wine industry— having served as the first female executive for a prominent distributor in the Southeastern US to national sales positions for some of California’s most esteemed wineries.

Sandra spends more than half of her time as our fearless ‘road warrior,’ visiting customers around the country. “Wine Sales isn’t something done remotely,” she says. “It’s a relationship business and requires a feet on the street approach to share our story, bring a sense our vineyards and our passion for winemaking to our customers. We take nothing and no one for granted.”

Sandra takes advantage of her hectic travel schedule by seeking out delightful wine and food experiences in every market. In her spare time, she pursues international adventures—everything from following the old Irish hunt trails on horseback to crossing the Dalmatian Coast by bike. At home in Napa, she enjoys gardening, rooting for her LSU Tigers during football season, cooking, hiking and exploring the outdoors with her 150-pound puppy (and the official winery dog of Odette), Sophie.

Scott Gaffney

Eastern Regional Sales Manager

As the Eastern Regional manager for PlumpJack and CADE wineries, Scot Gaffney distinguishes himself at winemaker dinners not only for providing guests with detailed information on the wines he represents, but personally providing the dinner music as well.

As the Eastern Regional manager for PlumpJack and CADE wineries, Scot Gaffney distinguishes himself at winemaker dinners not only for providing guests with detailed information on the wines he represents, but personally providing the dinner music as well.

Scot, a Certified Specialist of Wine by the Society of Wine Educators, is also an accomplished musician known for playing his saxophone at dinners.
“It may not seem pertinent,” he notes, “yet it gives guests another reason to remember the wines they enjoyed with their meal and music.”

A native New Yorker, the 20-year wine industry veteran is now a resident of Florida. He has traveled extensively through wine country in Italy, Spain, Portugal and California, and has bittersweet memories of completing Kevin Zraly’s wine course at Windows on The World restaurant in Manhattan’s World Trade Center before the buildings were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Scot, a graduate of the State University of New York College at Oswego, currently lives in Parkland, Florida with his wife and their two young children.

Lisa Sedgley

Director, Direct to Consumer Sales & Hospitality

BIO COMING SOON!

BIO COMING SOON!

Chloe Tyer

Membership Manager

Chloe joined The PlumpJack Group after a decade long career that combined her two great loves: food & wine. With a luxury hotel management background and a certification from The Master Court of Sommelier, Chloe has always been primed to land in the Napa Valley.

Chloe joined The PlumpJack Group after a decade long career that combined her two great loves: food & wine. With a luxury hotel management background and a certification from The Master Court of Sommelier, Chloe has always been primed to land in the Napa Valley.

In her current role as Membership Manager for PlumpJack, CADE and Odette Estate wineries, Chloe oversees the strategic direction and planning of the membership program spanning across the three wineries. She continues to push the boundaries of the traditional “club” format with constant innovation and improvement while never losing sight of the most important element—her loyal members.

When not talking with our members about all things Cabernet, she loves spending time with her family, traveling and cooking at home.

Ria Remesal

Tasting Room Manager

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BIO COMING SOON!

Hilary Newsom

Hilary Newsom

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BIO COMING SOON!

Jeremy Scherer

Jeremy Scherer

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BIO COMING SOON!