Varietal: Sparkling

Botanist & Barrel “DéFi” Merlot

Who: Sisters-in-law Kether Smith and Amie Fields, together with their respective husbands, form the mighty team behind Botanist & Barrel  Cidery and DeFi Wines.

As head cider maker, Kether first found her passion for fermentation through a love of kombucha, later working in the Finger Lakes wine region of New York and earning an expert cider certification through Cornell University. She’s supported in the cellar by fellow wine and cider maker Bailey Rehbein, who earned her bachelor’s degree in food science from the University of Wisconsin-Stout before working  harvest at esteemed Soter Vineyards in Willamette Valley.

Meanwhile, Amie works as sales director and hospitality manager for the family business, bringing decades of wide-ranging experience in the wine industry and a Certified Pommelier status from the American Cider Association.

La Montañuela Donkey & Goat Analemma Wines Ser Winery

Ser means “to be” in the Spanish language. In her wines, winemaker Nicole Walsh works to express the true being of each grape variety. A native of Michigan, Nicole studied horticulture before working with Randall Grahm at Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz County. In the two decades since, Nicole has held every position in wine production, from associate winemaker to vineyard manager to grower relations manager. These days, she operates Ser Winery and produces varietal-specific, vineyard-designate wines primarily from the Central Coast and Central California.

Elkhorn Peak Cellars

Situated on 17 acres of non-certified organically farmed vineyards, Elkhorn Peak Cellars is  actively working towards operating as a fully regenerative farm.  Since 1983, the  microwinery has been quietly producing world-class Pinot Noir and more. Before returning to the family farm to help her father Ken operate Elkhorn Peak, second-generation farmer and winemaker Elise Nerlove worked at Gloria Ferrer and had a harvest internship at Failla Wines. When not helping to run the family business,  Elise is championing for the rights of Napa’s smallest producers by working as the Vice President of Marketing and Operations for the non-profit Save the Family Farms, which she co-founded in 2017.  Offering just 800 cases of low-intervention wines per year, you won’t find these wines in restaurants or wine shops; they are exclusively sold through the winery.