Jody’s love of the land started early on, and he developed a passion for how things worked, how things grew, from farming to the stock market to the real estate market. He learned how to maintain the Jeep and the Ford tractor before he even learned how to operate them.
Jody went to Town School, then to Tabor Academy where he pursued his love of sailing, and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1997 with a BA in Economics. In 2008, after successful careers in commercial contracting and development with Hadley Construction, Fisher Development and Richie Commercial Real Estate.
As general manager of Cultivar Jody balances his time keeping an eye on the long term goals, the finances and ensuring all the day to day systems functioning: making improvements on everything as needed. This passion for how things work also translates to being an early adopter of technology and new farming practices to be ever more sustainable and earth friendly.
Today, both Caspar Estate and Cultivar are thriving with a total production of over 10,000 cases in 16 states, the Cultivar SF restaurant and Cultivar Sausalito restaurant in the works.
When he isn’t at Cultivar San Francisco, or out in the vineyard or at Cultivar Sausalito job site, one may find Jody out on the San Francisco Bay. An avid boatmen, Jody is a volunteer for the Coast Guard Auxilary and often takes groups out to the Farallon Islands. Jody currently resides in the Marina district near Cultivar San Francisco with his wife Michelle and their three children.
Growing up, Gingy loved spending weekends in the Napa Valley, with her grandparents, Virginia and Caspar Escher, learning how to appreciate and tend to the land. To this day, both Gingy and her brother are passionate about their property and continue the tradition of teaching the next generations of the family to be stewards of the land.
Gingy overlooks all details, from package design for their products, winning a packaging award for their olive oil in 2004, to overseeing sales and marketing for Caspar Estate and Cultivar Wine.
Gingy brings her design eye, sales experience, and years of running her own business to Cultivar.
Prior to taking the helm at Cultivar along side her brother, Gingy worked at Barbara Scavullo Design. She then founded and ran her own interior design business, Virginia Harris Design for over 19 years. She worked on many projects along the West Coast from Santa Barbara to Belvedere, and is responsible for the interiors of the house at Caspar Estate. She and her work have been featured in a variety of publications (The Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, Design Times, Northern California Home and Design, and Gentry). She received a degree in Art History from Colby College in Maine.
Participating in cooking classes in Florence, Paris and San Francisco influenced what she wanted to plant in the culinary garden. An avid cook, she enjoys pairing ingredients fresh from the land with Cultivar and Caspar Estate wines. Gingy currently resides in San Francisco with her husband John and their son.
Julien Fayard gained his knowledge and defined his core winemaking style from working at grand Chate aux in France such as Lafite Rothschild and Smith Haut Laffite. In Napa Valley, he’s worked alongside renowned winemaker Philippe Melka. He has come to be a Napa Valley veteran after many years of working with some of the most highly acclaimed and sought after wines from the Napa Valley. His philosophy is to produce wines that express pure, terroir-driven specificities and characteristics. He believes that as a winemaker, one doesn’t control the wine but rather wine style is the result of a combination of soil, climate and vineyard management. Wine style is an elegant combined expression of the fruit, soil, vines and climate.
“As a winemaker, my job is to bring out the best qualities that the vines have provided. I don’t seek to make a style of wine but more so to make wine that sings of it’s place, it’s history and it’s uniqueness. That’s my goal as a winemaker, to make wines that are pure expressions of their environment and not mask it. Wines with an identity. “
Julien is an entrepreneur with an acute business savvy of the wine industry. He is completing his MBA from top ranking Davis University in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He brings a dynamic background of quality wine production, business management, winery development and infrastructure.
With over 25 years in the wine business, Richard Phoenix has experience in all facets of wine marketing, sales and distribution. His love of Napa Valley began during a family trip to Napa Valley at the age of 9 and continues to this day.
Early positions at wine shops and then Oakville Grocery led to an understanding of retail wine markets. During this time, he helped out local Napa wineries with harvest and learned about the side of the wine business that leaves you covered in grape juice.
Time spent at Tra Vigne as the wine director provided experience in restaurant wine selection, sales and service. Seven years working for the Henry Wine Group as a sales representative enabled Richard to develop an extensive national sales territory.
In 1997 Richard started the Phoenix Ranch project as a personal labor of love – growing Old World varietals at his family’s Napa vineyard and producing wine under the Phoenix Ranch label. In addition, he began a consulting business to help small family wineries with sales and marketing. Clients have included Cafaro Cellars, Cannonball, Corison Wines, Crauford, Manifesto, Round Pond and Joel Gott Wines.
For the last 10 years Richard has been Cultivar’s National Sales Director, working closely with all distributors as well as Julien Fayard, and our whole winemaking team.
Deborah has been in the hospitality industry for over 15 years and opened 6 hotels providing quality service for customers, associates and ownership. As a former Director of Sales and Marketing she was responsible for $23 million in annual revenues. She and her husband have lived in the Napa Valley for over 10 years after living on the East Coast, South & Midwest.
Deborah’s knowledge of hospitality and her love of food & wine allow her to share Cultivar Wine with the world while hosting events and dinner parties. She volunteers and serves on fund-raising committees for the Queen of the Valley Hospital (Day of the Queen), and is Vice President of a Napa Philanthropic Educational Organization to support education for women.
Dianne worked as an Office Manager and Executive Administrative Assistant to a Pastor of a mega-church in the suburbs of Chicago for seven years. She implemented a new database, scheduler and phone tree for the church. She has lived all across the country and makes friends quickly. She became very involved in this community and received “Volunteer of the Year” award from the Yountville Chamber of Commerce, where she still serves as Chamber Ambassador.
Dianne’s love of the Napa Valley rubs off on everyone she encounters. She is a die hard Steelers fan. She loves hearing from Cultivar Wine Club members, and is a great resource and customer service representative.
Nick Barker grew up in the green pastures of rural Southern England. After graduating with an honors degree in Management Science at the University of Manchester, Nick moved to London to pursue a career in corporate finance, where he eventually worked for leading European banks, including HSBC, Deutsche Leasing and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Though Nick found a certain contentment with spreadsheets and the corporate life, he eventually discovered that his real passion was in making people happy. Nick moved to San Francisco in 2011 and quickly discovered that the hospitality business was his true calling. For the next 7 years, he worked for a number of high-volume, customer-centric restaurants and never looked back. In 2018, Nick took the reins at Cultivar SF. During this time, Nick has not only developed strong relationships with Cultivar’s customers, but with the broader wine industry in northern California.
David Neri grew up in beautiful Mexico City. At the age of eleven, he became familiar with food through his sisters’ catering business. At age twenty, his passion for food was developed and refined by Chef Tim Cass. Seeing David’s talent, vision, and drive, Chef Cass hired him as a head chef for UC Berkley’s athletic department. While working along with sports nutritionists, David became fascinated with healthy food. During this time, he received the opportunity to work at different restaurants across the Bay Area, including the Waterfront Restaurant in San Francisco, which helped him develop his cooking style. Eventually, he became a partner at a restaurant in Hercules, Ca. and started consulting Bay Area small businesses. David Neri’s love, passion, and experience for food make him one of a kind chef.
Jen has more than 20 years of marketing experience with 10+ years dedicated to hospitality marketing. Jen oversees all marketing strategy and branding for the Cultivar businesses. Jen currently manages all the marketing initiatives across all channels to drive brand awareness while meeting revenue goals. Prior to joining Cultivar, Jen worked in marketing and branding roles for PlumpJack Hospitality Group.
Davin hails from a historic fishing town in New York, and has been in restaurants since before he could even form memories. He went to work with his mom on weekends, coloring in the corner booth for hours. Skipping cake and candles on this fourteenth birthday, he instead landed his first restaurant job. Venturing out west for a higher education in filmmaking, Davin was drawn back to the hospitality industry.
Cutting his Cali teeth in Michelin-starred kitchen, inspired by the farmers’ market, he later went on to run the beverage program for a James Beard Award-winning chef. He has since opened numerous Bay Area gems, from a World Beer Cup award-winning brewpub to a waterfront seafood eatery to a bustling neighborhood oyster bar.
As long as we can recall we have had labrador retrievers. As children our grandparents had black labs. They are part of our life. All of our dogs love to chase balls, squirrels and rabbits.
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