PWF Winemakers

Pittsburgh Wine Festival is excited to offer the opportunity to meet many of the faces behind the wine at this year’s festival. Check out a preview of the winemakers who will be on-site the Pittsburgh Wine Festival! This year’s full wine list is available here.

Jesse Bongiovi, Hampton Water Wine

Courtesy of Hampton Water Wine

Jesse Bongiovi is the co-founder of Hampton Water Wine Company, and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he received a degree in Political Science and a minor in Business Economics. A New Jersey native, Jesse has spent nearly every summer of his youth vacationing with his family in East Hampton, New York. His lifelong affection for the Hamptons is what motivated him to create Diving into Hampton Water. Join Jesse for a tasting as he talks about his French rosé blend and signs purchased bottles. The Hampton Water Wine table will be pouring Diving Into Hampton Water Rosé Languedoc.
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Daniel Cohn, Bellacosa Wines

Courtesy of Bellacosa Wines

As the son of Bruce Cohn, manager of the Doobie Brothers and founder of the famed Sonoma winery BR Cohn, Dan likes to say he was born into music and raised in wine. Following the sale of his family’s iconic winery in 2015, Dan set out to create a wine that could evoke the magic of a timeless song. His relentless commitment to creating a wine that brings people together has brought forth Bellacosa; it truly is a “beautiful thing.” You can meet Daniel at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival, where he will be pouring Kunde Family Winery Magnolia Lane Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley, Joseph Carr Revelist Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, and Bellacosa Oakville Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
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Scot Covington, Trione Vineyards & Winery

Courtesy of Trione Winery

Scot Covington joined the Trione vineyard as a winemaker in 2005. Scot envisioned a straightforward facility, customized to accommodate small lots and hands-on winemaking, and he brought his years of winemaking experience to the project. He graduated from California State University, Fresno in 1990 with a B. S. degree in Agricultural Science and Enology.
Living a winemaker’s dream, Scot has his choice of the finest grapes grown on the Trione family’s vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Coast AVAs. He selects the top three percent of grapes from more than 650 acres of vineyards. Scot will be with the Trione table at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival pouring Trione Vineyards Henry’s Blend Geyserville Ranch Red Wine Alexander Valley, Trione Vineyards River Road Ranch Chardonnay Russian River Valley, Trione Vineyards River Road Ranch Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, and Trione Vineyards Block 21 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley.
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Terry Culton, Lasorda Family Wines

Courtesy of Lasorda Family Wines

Terry Culton is the head winemaker at Lasorda Family Wines. With over 20 years of winemaking experience in California’s central coast, he has a broad range of winemaking prowess and a proven record of producing highly sought-after wines with consistent 90+ ratings. Since 2000, Terry has held successive winemaker positions at Calera Wine Co., Adelaida Cellars, and Peachy Canyon. In 2012 he launched Culton Wine Co, a small-production label that features ultra-premium Rhône varietals and blends. Regarded as a “top-flight winemaker” by writer Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate, Terry will be at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival, where his table will feature the Lasorda Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon and Lasorda Family Wines Chardonnay.
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Damian Davis, Portlandia Vintners

Courtesy of Portlandia Vintners

Originally from the Washington, DC area, Portlandia founder Damian Davis moved his family to the Pacific Northwest. While on the cross-country drive, he happened upon Oregon’s Willamette Valley during harvest. Today, with the help of growing partners throughout, Portlandia offers the best of what Oregon’s Willamette Valley offers. Damian will be on-site at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival pouring Portlandia Pinot Gris Willamette Valley, Portlandia Oregon Pinot Noir, Portlandia Rosé Willamette Valley, and Portlandia Momtazi Pinot Noir McMinnville.
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Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon Vineyard

Courtesy of Bonny Doon Vineyard

Randall Grahm, Founder & President-for-Life of Bonny Doon Vineyard, is a much honored an iconic figure in the wine industry and known for being a fierce champion of Rhône varieties in California. His flagship wine, Le Cigare Volant, was originally created as an homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but has taken on an identity of its own. Continuing his legacy of tireless innovation, Randall is currently focused on creating a truly original vin de terroir at his Estate vineyard in San Juan Bautista.  He will be at Pittsburgh Wine Festival, where his table will feature Bonny Doon Syrah X Block Bien Nacido Vineyard, Bonny Doon Vineyard Picpoul Blanc Arroyo Seco, and Bonny Doon Vineyard Vin Gris de Cigare Rosé Central Coast.
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David Graves, Saintsbury Winery

Courtesy of Saintsbury Winery

David Graves, co-founder of Saintsbury, graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1975 with a degree in biology before embarking on a wine career. After studying enology and viticulture at the University of California, Davis, he worked at Chappellet Winery, Joseph Phelps, Domaine Chandon, and Mt. Eden before founding Saintsbury in 1981 with Richard Ward. In addition to managing Saintsbury, David has had top leadership roles with the Carneros Wine Alliance, the Land Trust of Napa County, and the Napa County Planning Commission. He will be on-site at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival pouring Saintsbury Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir Carneros, Saintsbury Chardonnay, Saintsbury Pinot Noir Carneros, and Saintsbury Sangiacomo Green Acres Chardonnay.

Anthony Hamilton Russell & Olive Hamilton Russell, Hamilton Russell Vineyards

Courtesy of Vineyard Brands

Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell are co-owners of Hamilton Russell Vineyards, which was taken over by Anthony in 1991. The couple met in Cape Town, South Africa, and married in 2004. Anthony hosted a Cool Climate symposium for the MW’s in South Africa. He has been a wine panelist at conferences in Chile, Switzerland, Australia, the UK, USA and South Africa. Olive completed an advanced diploma at the Cape Wine Academy. Both will be on site at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival pouring Ashbourne Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay Walker Bay, Southern Right Pinotage Walker Bay, Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Estate, and Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Estate.

Lukas Herrmann, Weingut Heid

Markus Heid winery is the 10th generation of the winery, located 15 km east of Stuttgart. The estate itself is still at the original location where it was founded by Jakob Melchisedec Heid.  Markus Heid has been running the winery in a biodynamic way per ECOVIN requirements since 2009.

Before Lukas Herrmann joined the winery,  he earned his Master’s degree at Geisenheim University. He has worked around the world in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.  Lukas will be on-site at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival pouring Weingut Heid PUR Riesling Württemberg, Weingut Heid Steinmergel Trollinger Rosé Sekt Brut Württemberg NV, Weingut Heid PUR Trollinger mit Lemberger Württember, and Weingut Heid Steinmergel Pinot Noir Württember .

Adam LaZarre, Wine Hooligans

Courtesy of Wine Hooligans

As Director of Winemaking at Wine Hooligans, Adam LaZarre guides all viticulture and winemaking strategy for Broadside, Cycles Gladiator, Portlandia, and Stephen Vincent wines. Adam grew up near the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, and after his 7-year stint in the U.S. Navy, he enrolled in California’s Fresno State’s Department of Viticulture and Enology to become a winemaker. After working as a full time associate winemaker at Jekel Vineyards in Monterey, Hahn Estates hired him to be their Vice President of winemaking. During his time at Hahn Estates, Adam created the Rex Goliath and Cycles Gladiator brands – both of which were developed as wine brands for the people. Since leaving Hahn Estates, Adam was crucial in the purchase of the Cycles Gladiator brand by Wine Hooligans. Adam will be at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival alongside Brian Terrizzi featuring Broadside Wild Ferment Chardonnay Central Coast, Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, Broadside Margarita Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and Broadside Margarita Vineyard Merlot Paso Robles.

Tom Leonardi II, Whitehall Lane Winery

Courtesy of Whitehall Lane Winery

Tom Leonardini II joined the winery in 1994 and is responsible for the national and international distribution of all Whitehall Lane wines. He graduated from Santa Clara University and also earned an MBA degree from the University of San Francisco with an emphasis in marketing. Prior to joining the family at Whitehall Lane, Tom entered the wine/liquor industry through a large California wine and liquor marketing company. Tom will be on site at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival featuring Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, Whitehall Lane Merlot Napa Valley, Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley, and Whitehall Lane Leonardini Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.
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Patricia Lozano, Hammeken Cellars

Courtesy of Hammeken Cellars

Patricia Lozano is a recent addition to Hammeken Cellars, working with David Tofterup to select the best vines and closely monitor the winemaking process. Her background on agronomy and oenology, and her unique view and knowledge of Castilla La Mancha’s appellations are a fantastic asset. Patricia has experience in French wines, as well as those from the New World such as New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa. Patricia will be on-site at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival pouring Hammeken’s Gran Castillo Rocio Brut Brut Rosé NV, Radio Boca Tempranillo de la Tierra Castilla NV 3L, Gran Pasas November Harvest Jumilla, and Tosalet Old Vines Carignan Priorat .
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Mario Mazza, Mazza Vineyards

Mario Mazza, General Manager of Mazza Vineyards, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH and a Master’s Degree in Enology from the
University of Adelaide in Australia. While in Australia, he gained experience in the Barossa Valley and in the Adelaide Hills. Mario has 15 years of experience in research & commercial winemaking, as well as sensory training including the PA Wine Quality Initiative. Mario will be on-site at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival where he will be pouring Mazza Vineyards Ice Wine of Vidal Blanc Lake Erie, Mazza Vineyards Merlot Pennsylvania, Mazza Vineyards Bare Bones Rosé Pennsylvania, and South Shore Wine Company Grüner Veltliner Pennsylvania.
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Giorgio Rivetti, La Spinetta

Giorgio Rivetti, head winemaker and co-owner of La Spinetta, has received international accolades for his wines, including over 50 scores of 95 or more from wine publications such as Wine Spectator and wine critics such as Robert Parker and James Suckling. Rivetti will be available to talk about and sample his wines and sign purchased bottles at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival. Wines to be poured include La Spinetta Vementino Toscana, La Spinetta Il Nero di Casanova Rosso Toscana, Contratto Millesimato Piemonte Brut, and La Spinetta Barolo Campè.

Reagan Rombauer, Rombauer Vineyards

The granddaughter of Koerner and daughter of Sheana Rombauer, Reagan grew up in Napa Valley and, like her mother before her, spent a good portion of her youth working at the family-owned winery. In her current role as Sales & Marketing Support Manager, Reagan conducts sales presentations and assists with sales program development; represents the winery at industry conferences, promotional and philanthropic events; and assists in identifying strategic market opportunities, including exports. She also works on trade-directed education programs and provides market perspective to support development of promotional materials and events.

Reagan will be available at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival. Wines to be poured include Rombauer Vineyards Chardonnay Carneros, Rombauer Zinfandel Napa Valley, Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley, and Rombauer Diamond Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.
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Felipe Stahlschmidt, Pascual Toso

Courtesy of Pascual Toso

Felipe Stahlschmidt is the Chief Winemaker at Pascual Toso, one of the oldest wineries in Mendoza. Born in Buenos Aires and raised in Mendoza, he studied at the prestigious National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, where he graduated with degrees in Agronomic Engineering and Viticulture and Enology. Winemaking became a passion of Felipe’s during his time working with different growers and vineyards in different regions. In 2015 he joined Pascual Toso and he will be at their table at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival pouring Pascual Toso Malbec Mendoza Reserva Barrancas Vineyard, Pascual Toso Finca Pedregal Red Blend Mendoza, Pascual Toso Barrancas Toso Rosé Mendoza and Pascual Toso Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza Reserva Barrancas Vineyard.
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Brian Terrizzi, Broadside Wine

Courtesy of Broadside Wines

Brian Terrizzi landed his first harvest job at Rosenblum and went on to study winemaking at Fresno State, where he met his future wife and partner, Stephanie Sorn. Today Brian oversees the Broadside cellar while Stephy is a prominent force for bio- organic viticulture in Paso Robles. She has steered many growers towards organic and sustainable farming and certifications. Brian and Stephy also own and make the Giornata wines, where they focus on Italian grapes grown in California. Brian and Stephy will be on-site at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival where they will feature Broadside Wild Ferment Chardonnay Central Coast, Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, Broadside Margarita Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and Broadside Margarita Vineyard Merlot Paso Robles.
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Anthony Truchard, Truchard Vineyards

Courtesy of Truchard Vineyards

Anthony Truchard II returned to Napa to help manage the family winery after earning degrees from University of California Santa Barbara and Cardozo School of Law. His experience includes practicing patent law in New York and working at a vineyard management company. As Sales and Marketing Director, Anthony has led the expansion of Truchard Vineyards into several markets. He will be on-site at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival Truchard Roussanne Carneros, Truchard Pinot Noir Napa Valley, and Truchard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.
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