Don Yannias, Chairman and President
Since 1991, Don Yannias has served as chairman and president of Spring Mountain Vineyard.
Don is currently also the president of Boker Investment Management Inc., a private investment management company. From 1997 to 2001 he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. He currently maintains seats on the Board of Directors of both firms, numerous other private companies, and Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Yannias received a B.S. in Business Administration in 1979 and an M.B.A.in Finance and Marketing in 1981 from The Ohio State University. He and his family reside in Chicago.
Susan Doyle, General Manager, Technical Director of Vineyards & Winemaking
Susan Doyle joined Spring Mountain Vineyard in 2014 as Technical Director of Vineyards & Winemaking, bringing with her a world of knowledge and experience. She was named General Manager in 2015.
Susan was born in the Australian island state of Tasmania and grew up on a cattle and apple farm where she developed a love of the natural world.
After gaining a degree in Environmental Science, she pursued post graduate study in Enology & Viticulture in Canterbury, New Zealand. She began her winemaking career in Australia at such properties as Pipers Brook and Morrilla Estate in Tasmania and Yarra Ridge Winery in Victoria.
Her fascination with California winemaking blossomed after she worked a harvest in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. In 2003, she took the helm at MacMurray Ranch with responsibility for winemaking and vineyards. Prior to joining Spring Mountain Vineyard, Susan was the Director of Winemaking and Innovation for all domestic and international brands for Diageo Chateau & Estates Wines.
With more than 20 international and domestic harvests behind her, Susan is poised to guide the Spring Mountain Vineyard estate toward its ultimate potential.
“I see winegrowing as both science and art. The science is to know what you are doing. The art is to know when to allow terroir to speak. the unmatched beauty and diversity of Spring Mountain Vineyard make true terroir possible.”
As part of the Napa community, Susan enjoys sharing good food and wine with friends. Among her passions are travel, sailing and Champagne.
Justin Hirigoyen, Winemaker
Justin, a French-American national raised in Marin County, California, joined the SMV team in 2014. His father, a chef and restaurateur, exposed him early and often to fine food and wine. Moments shared with friends around a great meal sparked his interest in wine. He graduated cum laude from Loyola Marymount University in Political Science and French in 2009. After graduation, he headed to France where he worked several consecutive harvests, first at Chateau D’Esclans where he met his mentor Patrick Léon, and then at Léon’s Chateau Les Trois Croix in Bordeaux.
In 2014 Justin completed the Brevet de Technicien Superieur degree for Enology and Viticulture, having balanced for two years his technical studies with full time cellar and vineyard immersion at Domaine Faiveley in Burgundy.
“Great wine is a combination of place, vintage and the people behind it. Enjoying great wine enables us to look back and remember what it was like at that particular moment in time.”
Justin is an avid trail runner and cyclist. He enjoys cooking, theater, movies and travel. He lives in Petaluma with his fiancée, Jessica.
Patrick Léon, Consulting Winemaker
Patrick Léon’s expertise has created many of the great wines of the world. He has been influencing the direction of SMV winemaking since 2010.
Experience gained over decades of working across the Atlantic for such wineries as Chateau Lascombes, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Opus One, Chateau d’Esclans and Almaviva, gives him deep understanding and unique perspective for extracting memorable, world class wines from distinctive vineyard sites.
Patrick is attuned to the exceedingly diverse vineyard blocks that comprise the Spring Mountain Vineyard estate, and his talent is illuminated in the wines he blends from an extensive palette of carefully chosen barrel lots.
“Spring Mountain terroir guarantees power in the wines. My goal is to marry that power with elegance.”
While Patrick is at Spring Mountain numerous times a year, he lives in Bordeaux where he works with his son at their Chateau Les Trois Croix.
Bernard Hervet, Consulting Winemaker
Bernard Hervet is the former CEO of Domaine Faiveley and a globally respected expert on the wines of Burgundy. In 2010 he began working with Spring Mountain to develop the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards and wines. Under his guidance, the planting of both grape varieties was expanded, new clones added and the winemaking attuned to traditional Burgundian methods.
Bernard was previously the winemaker at William Fèvre, the outstanding Chablis house, and former managing director of Bouchard Père et Fils, where he elevated the wine quality of its vineyard holdings in Burgundy.
Bernard’s wisdom and experience are imprinting the wines with a classic Burgundian profile, interpreted through distinctive Spring Mountain terroir.
Bernard is an avid music lover and produces the annual Musique et Vin festival. He lives in Burgundy.
Ron Rosenbrand, Vineyard Manager
Born and raised in Saint Helena and into a winemaking family, Ron developed an interest in grape growing at an early age. His father, well known winemaker Theo Rosenbrand - whose achievements at Beaulieu and Sterling Vineyards are revered by wine collectors today - knew that great wines were made in the vineyard, not in the winery. Certainly influenced by this philosophy, Ron chose to study viticulture and graduated from the University of California at Davis in 1981.
After studying French viticulture in the Jura, Ron returned to his roots in Napa Valley. He managed the vineyards for Charles Krug and V. Sattui before joining the Spring Mountain Vineyard team in 2003. Ron is dedicated to using his knowledge of terroir, rootstock and clonal selection, vine stress and canopy management to realize the full potential of each of Spring Mountain’s 135 vineyard blocks.
An innovator in developing new environmentally safe farming methods, Ron led the way in the use of predatory insects and bluebirds to naturally eradicate and control pests in the vineyard. Rather than accept the status quo, he formed alliances with UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz to develop the bio-friendly protocols that are used at SMV – and subsequently by other wineries in Napa and elsewhere. In 2010, recognizing Ron’s leadership, the California EPA gave Spring Mountain Vineyard its respected Innovator Award.
“I love what I do. I find it endlessly challenging and rewarding to be part of this special vineyard.”
Ron lives on the Spring Mountain Vineyard with his wife, Jacqueline, and their children. When not growing wine, he enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland - hence his U.S nickname - ‘Scotty’ gained an introduction and appreciation of the world of wine during his early travels through Europe.
After immigrating to the US and serving in the US military, he attended University of Washington, Seattle, graduating with a degree in Business/ Accounting. After a short career in accounting, he turned his attention to wine. He began in Southern California selling and marketing California wines, and from this beginning he went on to spend more than twenty-five years with Kobrand Corporation, where he ultimately became Senior VP of Sales & Marketing. He then returned to California where for over 11 years headed up domestic & international sales and marketing for Opus One Winery.
His travels promoting fine wine have taken him to nearly 100 countries. When not travelling, he can be found on the golf course with his two sons.
Valli has been part of Spring Mountain Vineyard since 1992. She and her family lived on the SMV estate during its renaissance years in the 1990s, giving her an intimate knowledge of the beauty and seasonal cadence of life in the vineyards.
Her early years were spent in the Midwest where she earned a bachelor's degree from Indiana University in French and English. Her fascination with the world of wine brought her to California where she contributed to the sales and marketing efforts of several wineries, including Inglenook, Geyser Peak, William Hill and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars.
Valli is the author of Dining In Napa Valley, a cookbook celebrating Napa Valley’s best restaurants. In her spare time she enjoys reading, gardening and entertaining. She lives in St. Helena with her husband, Tom, and their son, Scott.
Leah was born and raised in Los Altos, California. She received her Bachelors degree from Oregon State University and spent the next 10 years living in the Oregon wine country.
Having caught the “wine bug,” Leah, her husband Michael, and 2 young daughters, Taylor and Ashley, relocated to St. Helena to pursue their passion and immerse themselves in the wine industry.
Leah brings with her to Spring Mountain over 10 years experience in customer service, public relations and management. Her professionalism, coupled with her sunny personality enable her to meet the customers needs extremely well.
In her free time, Leah enjoys traveling, volunteering in the local schools, biking, gardening and coaching soccer.
Corinne joined SMV in 2014, coming from Landmark Winery where she was Controller. She has also held financial positions with Roll Global, Hewlett Packard, Agilent Technologies, Zainer Rinehart Clarke DFK and Electronic Data Systems (EDS). Corinne received a BS from CSU Chico in Economics and Finance and her MBA from Sonoma State University, where she currently teaches Wine Business Institute seminars in Winery Financial and Management Accounting.
She has been an instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (CIA), where she taught aspiring chefs Math and Restaurant Finance in the CIA’s Associate of Science degree program.
Corinne and David Meddaugh reside in the beautiful Sonoma Valley on a charming olive orchard named Buckshot Ranch, where they produce olive oil. Corinne and David are the proud parents of Patrick and Elizabeth, graduates of UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara respectively – an Aggie and a Gaucho!
Corinne is an “Italiafile,” holds US and Italian dual citizenship and studies the language during her travels there. She loves to cook, enjoys wine and gardening, pottery and the arts. She was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California.
Lindsay is a Midwestern transplant who grew up in Naperville, Illinois. After finishing a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago, she moved to New York where her passion for wine continued to develop. After moving back to Chicago and working in sales, she decided to follow her growing passion for wine. In 2009, she literally ‘jumped ship’ from Maersk Line, a global logistics firm, to move to Napa Valley. Her experience at Kuleto Estate, Kenzo Estate and James Cole Winery brought her to Spring Mountain in 2013.
Lindsay is quick to acknowledge that life is too short to work in a career that doesn’t make you happy. Sharing the world of wine with guests definitely puts a smile on her face. Her guiding philosophy is to “make the child you were proud of the person you are”.
Lindsay loves great wine and food. She also enjoys travel, movies, spending time with her family and making people laugh. She resides in Napa with her sister, Tracy.
Marilyn was born in Pasadena and raised in the Silicon Valley where she worked at General Electric as a nuclear energy analyst for fifteen years. Seeking a more creative career in a rural setting, she moved to Lake County, and was soon at the helm of the Tasting Room and Wine Club at Steele Wines.
She is thrilled to be at Spring Mountain Vineyard where her friendly warmth and enthusiasm for wine spark the same response in her guests. A talented photographer, Marilyn is often found behind the lens in the vineyard and winery, chronicling the day-to-day life and beauty of Spring Mountain.
She is a lifelong animal lover and advocate. She is devoted to her 33 yr. old Paint horse Mogan, her big dog Nelson and felines with whom she lives on a picturesque Napa vineyard.
Ish was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico into a large, extended family. His early years were spent in New York.
As a teenager, he lived in Italy where he developed an appreciation for the culture of wine and food.
He has a BA in Business Management from Inter-American University and is a member of the Certified Sommeliers Association, both of Puerto Rico.
His personal warmth and effervescent charm have served him well in the hospitality profession, where he has worked for over two decades. His restaurant affiliations include Marmalade of Old San Juan and Morton’s of Chicago.
Ish is father to five sons, enjoys the beach, running, cooking and spending time with friends and family.
He moved to Napa Valley in 2009, after a visit with a group of fellow sommeliers opened his eyes to the natural beauty of the land and its wines.
Rick was born into a tightly-knit Napa Valley family with roots in viticulture and winemaking. His father was a viticulturist for Truchard Vineyards, and two brothers worked for Beringer.
Rick pursued art in college and worked for a time as a starving graphic designer. He soon realized that wine is an art form, one that could offer him a wonderful lifestyle in the wine industry. He has worked at Artesa Winery, Kuleto Estate and Cade Winery.
Rick’s warm, effervescent charm and knowledge make him a favorite educator at SMV. He attributes his positive outlook to his mother who, he says, “always puts a smile on my face.”
He likes to spend time with his extended family, often gathering them around a great bottle of wine and something delicious on the grill.
Except for her studies at Sacramento State where she received a BS in Business-Marketing, Doris has lived in Napa her entire life. She and her husband of 20 years, Steve, are consummate do-it-yourselfers, having renovated their Napa home from nearly the ground up. She applies the same ‘can do’ attitude to the logistics of keeping Wine Club members happy.
She has a passion for cats, and has been known to feed and rescue felines from feral colonies. She rescued Hershey from the wild at 7 months, and he has been living a pampered, domestic life for over 7 years.
Doris loves to camp, hike and kayak while visiting our National Parks. Enthusiastic about seeing new places and trying new foods, she plans to visit as many countries as possible on her bucket list.