Spring Mountain Vineyard
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Wine Spectator "Must See" DWWA 2013 Regional Trophy for 2010 Elivette

Our Staff


Spring Mountain Vineyard
Don Yannias, Chairman and President
Spring Mountain Vineyard
George Peterson, General Manager
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Patrick Léon, Consulting Winemaker
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Bernard Hervet, Consulting Winemaker
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Ron Rosenbrand, Vineyard Manager
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Justin Hirigoyen, Assistant Winemaker
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Kenneth "Scotty" Barbour, Director – International & Domestic Sales & Key Accounts
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Valli Ferrell, Director of Public Relations
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Claire Gabaldon, Wine Club, Direct-to-Consumer & Social Media Manager
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Doris Capovilla, Wine Club Coordinator
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Leah Smith, Director of Customer Relations & Events
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Lindsay McArdle, Tasting Room Manager
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Marilyn Ferrante, Assistant Tasting Room Manager
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Ish Rivera, Senior Wine Educator and Sommelier

bul1 Don Yannias, Chairman and President
Don Yannias
Don Yannias

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.

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bul1 George Peterson, General Manager
George PetersonGeorge Peterson

After extensive travel throughout Europe, George graduated from Brown University with a degree in International Relations. He began his professional career in New York at The Chase Manhattan Bank. Subsequently he became a Global Division Executive based for the US subsidiary of HSBC and later, was a division executive for a French merchant bank. After leaving finance, he was CFO or COO of several companies in industries ranging from petroleum to technology. An admitted oenophile, George joined Spring Mountain Vineyard in 2010 to work with the talented Spring Mountain team to reestablish broad awareness of this historic and iconic brand.

George continues his relationship with Brown as an Alumni Interviewer for Admissions. In addition, he is a member of the Napa Valley Vintner Strategic Partnership and Premiere Napa Valley Steering Committees.

In his free time, he can be found playing tennis or collecting art with his wife, Karen.

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bul1 Patrick Léon, Consulting Winemaker
Patrick LéonPatrick Léon

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.

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bul1 Bernard Hervet, Consulting Winemaker
Bernard HervetBernard Hervet

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.

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bul1 Ron Rosenbrand, Vineyard Manager
Ron Rosenbrand
Ron Rosenbrand

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.

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bul1 Justin Hirigoyen, Assistant Winemaker
Justin Hirigoyen
Justin Hirigoyen

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.

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bul1 Kenneth "Scotty" Barbour, Director – International & Domestic Sales & Key Accounts

Scotty Barbour
Scotty Barbour

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.

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bul1 Valli Ferrell, Director of Public Relations
Valli Ferrell
Valli Ferrell

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.
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bul1 Claire Gabaldon, Wine Club, Direct-to-Consumer & Social Media Manager
Claire Gabaldon
Claire Gabaldon

Born and raised in Shrewsbury, England, Claire’s sense of adventure brought her to the beautiful Napa Valley where her love of the wine, weather and lifestyle has enticed her to stay for over five years. Family vacations to France sparked Claire’s interest in wine, and after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Marketing Management, she soon realized she wanted to make a career out her passion.

She studied to WSET Advanced Level 3 in the UK and qualified as a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators in California. She brings a wealth of industry knowledge to her role, having previously worked in various sales, marketing and hospitality positions at Diageo, Waverley, Louis M. Martini, William Hill Estate, T-Vine Cellars and Silverado Vineyards. Her aim at Spring Mountain Vineyard is to build long-standing relationships with guests and club members and ensure all interactions with SMV are positive and meaningful.

In her spare time, Claire enjoys an active social life, playing bocce, dining in local restaurants and attending events celebrating food, wine and music. To relax she can be found hiking the hills of Napa Valley or curled up at home with a good book and a cup of tea.

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bul1 Doris Capovilla, Wine Club Coordinator
Doris Capovilla
Doris Capovilla

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.

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bul1 Leah Smith, Director of Customer Relations & Events
Leah Smith
Leah Smith

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.

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bul1 Lindsay McArdle, Tasting Room Manager
Lindsay McArdleLindsay McArdle

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.

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bul1 Marilyn Ferrante, Assistant Tasting Room Manager
Marilyn Ferrante
Marilyn Ferrante

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.

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bul1 Ish Rivera, Senior Wine Educator and Sommelier
Ish RiveraIsh Rivera

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.

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