Dartmouth & Its Winemakers

Sunday, April 23 

An Alumni Wine Tasting Extravaganza

featuring over 35 Dartmouth-affiliated wineries from

NapaSonomaMendocinoSanta Cruz Mountains

Sierra FoothillsPaso RoblesTemecula

1:00-2:30 pm
"Beyond the Grape" 

Moderated Panel Discussion and Tasting featuring Eight Winemakers

The tasting will include a guided educational flight of signature wines for knowledgeable enthusiasts and those new to wine appreciation.  Tickets are selling fast!!

3:00 pm -7:00 pm

Grand Tasting

Dartmouth alumni in the wine industry from all over California will be pouring their wines. In total there will be over 70 wines from 35 wineries.  Many the wines have been listed in the San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines and ranked 90+ points by Wine Spectator.

Connect with your Dartmouth, Tuck, Thayer, or Geisel fellow alumni, your fraternity brothers, sorority sisters and teammates ... or meet new alumni or friends from the Bay Area and beyond with a toast of wine and a delicious nibble.

Quadrus Center, 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park

Featuring an outdoor deck with a stunning view of Silicon Valley.

The DAASV is grateful for your support in our endeavors, and we are looking forward to raising a glass together with the greater Bay Area Dartmouth community at this special fundraiser event. 

Watch this video as Jordan Fiorentini '99 shares her passion for winemaking at Epoch.

Get your tickets today!




Belden Barns:  Lauren Belden ’97 and her husband Nate, are currently transforming their 55 acre property in the Sonoma Mountain AVA, with its 21 painted acres, into a full-scale winery and creamery, offering both cheeses and a focused selection of wines of small-lot, estate-only production, including Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, Blanc de Noirs and the only Sonoma Grüner Veltliner.. Focused on life’s magical possibilities, the Belden Barns tag line is “Wish Big.”

Calluna, the botanical genus for heather, is a Chalk Hill AVA winery, focused exclusively on Bordeaux varietals and blends.  David Jeffrey ’79 moved to Sonoma after completing a degree in enology at Fresno State, following a career in finance.  Jeffrey developed this property from scratch, planting the vineyards and building the winery and homestead. In a region overshadowed by Cabernets from Napa and from the Alexander Valley, Calluna has gained numerous accolades for its wines over the past 10 years.  

Cuvée & Francis Reserve Old Vines Zinfandel: Karen Francis-DeGolia '84 is a former Dartmouth Trustee and former partner in Limerick Lane Winery in Healdsburg. She bought her 10 acre old vines zinfandel estate vineyard in Healdsburg in 2003, moving from Michigan to pursue this new adventure. She sells her grapes to Mayo Winery in Kenwood, which produces two vineyard-designate wines from her grapes - Karen’s Cuvée and Francis Reserve Old Vines Zinfandel, which received a 93 from Robert Parker for the 2012 vintage! Karen's Zinfandel also received a gold medal just about every year from the Sonoma County Harvest Fair.

Geometry: Scott Liebman ’85 is a wine entrepreneur, whose label, Geometry, focuses on Rhone varietals including Syrah, Syrah blends, and Rosé from the Bennett Valley AVA in Sonoma. Mixing business with wine, he runs a software company that focuses on streamlining how wines can be sold to consumers to the trade. Geometry reflects a balance for the essence of the grapes they harvest and the science they use to make the wines.

Helen Grace: Peter Colabuono ’04

Once & Future: Madeleine Deininger MALS ’85 Mady Deininger MALS ’85 and her husband Joel Peterson are the proprietors of Once & Future Wines, a new wine label they have started together. Mady also serves on the Board for Richard Stockton College and the Blue Oak School in Napa. Previously, she served as president of Kismet Wines, producers of the acclaimed Papa’s All-Blacks Old Vine, a joint venture between her husband and stepson, Morgan Twain-Peterson. 

Peay Vineyards: Andy Peay ’92 and his brother Nick built their vineyard and winery from scratch and are now at the forefront of what has come to be known as the West of West region on the Sonoma Coast.  This cool climate region has become renowned for its restrained Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and Syrahs, all of which Peay Vineyards produces in vineyard-designate releases.  Nick’s wife, Vanessa Wong, is a highly acclaimed winemaker in her own right, having previously served as winemaker for Peter Michael. 


Black Kite Cellars:  Rebecca Green Birdsall T’87

Cole Bailey Vineyards: Bob Anderson ’61

Napa Valley

 Alpha Omega, AXR: Ed Keible ’65

Bx of Napa: Bex Bishop ’93 is a Napa Valley native with a global soul having studied, worked, and traveled in over 70 countries.  Now back to her roots in Napa Valley focused on boutique wines and luxury, with an environmentally conscience yet cosmopolitan influence, she aims to share the "best of" these multicultural and psychographically diverse lessons and inspirations through wine, cork fashion, media, entrepreneurship and marketing.

Robert Biale Vineyards Old Kraft Vineyard Zinfandel:  Bill Hart T’67 is a former Venture Capitalist, now a gentleman farmer in St. Helena.  Formerly a partner in Duckhorn, he now grows a discreet selection of highly-prized grapes that are sold to Robert Biale Vineyards.


Far Niente /Nickel & Nickel /Dolce Rick Maguson ’79 is Managing Director of GI Partners, a diversified private investment and management firm and one of the principal investors for CalPERS Pension Fund. Since living in London and visiting French wine country in the 1990s, Rick's long-standing family interest in wine was the inspiration behind GI Partners' acquisition of Napa’s highly prestigious Far Niente/ Nickel & Nickel wineries in 2016. 

As sister wineries Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel, and Dolce produce some of the finest wines in Napa.  

Staglin Family Vineyard: Brandon Staglin ’93

Stony Hill Vineyard: Peter McCrea ’61 E’62

Jon Ruel ’95 is atypical of most Dartmouth folks in the wine realm, climbing the corporate ladder at one of Napa’s most established wineries from his hiring as vineyardist to his current position as President of Trefethen Vineyards. Trefethen created the Oak Knoll AVA and is still its most dominant player. Jon’s own innovations here have pushed the envelope even further.

Vineyard 7 & 8: Launny Steffens ’63 

Sierra Foothills

Grace Patriot/Lewis Grace: Tyler Grace ’94 is another voice crying in the desert, or, more precisely, the Sierra Foothills. Grace Patriot is gradually transitioning to the Lewis Grace name and offers a wide range of wines, including Tempranilo, Graciano, Torrentés, Primitivo, Viognier, Petit Verdot, and Grenache. As winemaker, Tyler created and runs Grace Patriot with his parents, Steve and Bea. A family-run, pioneering venture, built from scratch.

Santa Cruz Mountains 

Los Gatos
Los Gatos

Big Basin Vineyards is dedicated to handcrafting wines that express the ocean-influenced, mountain vineyards that inspire them. Owner/winemaker Brad Brown and sister & co-owner Wendy Brown T ’87 and brother Derek ’80, were inspired to create Big Basin by Derek's seven years working with winemakers in Paris and Rhone Valley. Nestled deep among the redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, Big Basin has carved an enviable reputation for its superbly crafted Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, along with Syrahs, Rhône blends, Viognier and Roussanne.

Byington:  Amy Madsen T’95 and her husband Benny of Los Altos Vineyards purchased Byington Winery in Los Gatos in 2013. This well-established Pinot Noir estate has been significantly expanded over the past four years and has added a Los Altos tasting room, a 240 acre ranch in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley, and a second label, Tin Cross. The winery now produces several Cabernet Sauvignons, a Sauvignon Blanc/Viognier blend, and a Saignée.

Clos de la Tech: With caves tunneling deep into a vine-covered ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains and vineyards so steep they have to be farmed with a one-of-a-kind, specially designed tractor moved by cables, Clos de la Tech is one of the most ambitious and innovative Pinot Noir producers in California. The winery was founded in 1994 and continues to be operated by TJ Rodgers '70, Founder and retired CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, and his wife, Valeta. A former Dartmouth Trustee, TJ Rodgers' quest to optimize his vineyard practices has led to numerous innovations that have been implemented throughout the wine industry.

Kirigin Cellars: Dhruv Khanna ’83

Windy Oaks owner/winemaker Jim Schultze T’76 and his wife Judy founded Windy Oaks Estate in 1996 and have long shared their handcrafted Pinot Noirs with Bay Area alumni gatherings.  Jim is also one of the pioneers and leading proponents of the Corralitos Wine Trail, an aspiring sub-Ava of the Santa Cruz Mountains. In addition to their distinctive line of Estate Pinot Noirs, they grow and produce Chardonnay and Syrah.

Paso Robles

II Moons: John Gleason ’76 Two Moons Cellars is a collaboration of winemaking by John Gleason '76 and Neil Roberts, a celebrated central coast viticulturalist. Longtime friends, the duo has produced many acclaimed fine Rhone blends since 2010 in Templeton,CA.  The Two Moons business model is centered on securing the finest fruit available in the Paso Robles wine grape region and is personally farmed by Roberts Vineyard Services, Neil's primary business.

Last updated on Today, 2:15 PM by Katherine Loarie
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Epoch: Jordan Fiorentini ’99 is the Head Winemaker at Epoch Estate Wines, a leading winery in Paso Robles’ esteemed York Creek AVA. With an undergrad degree in Engineering from Dartmouth, a minor in Italian Language and a masters degree in Viticulture & Enology from UC Davis, she has been making wine since she graduated, after which she headed out to Napa Valley for her very first harvest that fall. In keeping with their locale, Epoch focuses primarily on Rhône-style wines, along with some eclectic estate blends, marrying Syrah, 25% Grenache, and Mourvèdre with Tempranillo and Zinfandel. Jordan is widely acclaimed both as one of California’s leading female winemakers and as a trailblazer in Paso Robles.

Four Lanterns is a relatively new winery from the Templeton Gap District in Paso Robles. Owner Steve Gleason ’82 followed brother John ’76 to the Central Coast from Orange county, to convert a historic former vineyard and spice farm to this Rhône-focused label in 2013. With a name inspired by their four daughters, Four Lanterns currently produces Picpoul Blanc and Viognier varietal whites, Syrah and Grenache reds, and both Syrah/Grenache and Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blends.


Baily Winery: After a 15 year stint as a consulting actuary, Phil Baily ‘62, and his family moved to Temecula, California with the intention of growing grapes and learning how to make premium wine. Specializing in wines made from the traditional Bordeaux varieties, Phil “Old world style” wines including noteworthy Meritage wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Malbec. The Oxford Companion to Wine, Third Edition, calls Baily one of the two “most artistically successful of the small pioneering outfits” in the Temecula Valley.


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