Harvest is indeed around the corner, as veraison in the Merlot can attest to.  Chris Stewart, our newest member added to the cellar staff, and Aikaterini, our harvest intern from Greece, sampled the fruit in our Sauvignon blanc vineyard this week and found sugar levels exceeding 16 brix.  Next week, we’ll get a read on the sugar in the Syrah up at Canterbury Vineyard and then start laying the schedule to bring in fruit.  My guess is that it will be the last week of August.  The champagne grapes for Mumm started coming in yesterday, which means the kick-off for HARVEST 2016 has begun!

Other staff news includes a big change regarding our wine club management. Ron Edmunds joined us at BELL a little over five years ago, and within a couple years, grew into the position of our Wine Club Director.  In that position, he raised the bar in terms of customer service, and skillfully managed all the facets of the job.  His meticulous attention to detail and his constant attention to the needs of our wine club members, was unparalleled.  Today is Ron’s last day with us – certainly we will miss him, but we wish him the very best in his new home and new life in Southern California.

Replacing Ron, we are pleased to announce that Colleen Topper will be joining us as Manager, Wine Club and Direct to Consumer Sales, reporting to Sandra.  In addition to her wine club responsibilities, Colleen will assist us with specific business management functions.

A wine industry professional with over 20 years of experience, Colleen brings to Bell a wealth of knowledge in sales, tasting room management, and wine club management.  Colleen and her husband David were partners in Goosecross Cellars in Yountville for 20 years.  Prior to the 2013 sale of Goosecross to the Coors family, Colleen was Tasting Room Manager for 10 years and for the last 10 years was Vice President and Director of Hospitality and Marketing.  Goosecross Cellars was a winery with a very similar operational style to Bell and we share many of the same issues and opportunities.

We are very excited about having Colleen join our team and the enhancements she will bring to our wine club.  She can be reached at 707/944-1673, extension 31 or via email at colleen@bellwine.com.