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.
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 and then at 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.
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.