I have always believed that you get one shot at a full, exciting life, so I was more than game when the opportunity came for me to take on a new role here at Bella as general manager. After a nearly 30-year career in education, as a teacher and principal, I’m very excited to see what this next career chapter has in store for me. I can’t think of a better office view in Sonoma County than the Dry Creek Valley!
I started pouring wines at Bella on the weekends 10 years ago because it seemed like everyone was just having so much fun in the tasting room when I would visit as a club member. I’m a fifth generation Sonoma County kid, so enjoying amazing wines with fantastic food is in my blood and a big part of my life. I love to taste and experience wines from all over but I have come to realize that some of the best wines in the world are created right here in Sonoma County. For me, great wine and food bring family and friends together. When I’m in the tasting room, I try to share that passion with our club members!
With a teacher’s heart, I am someone who believes in lifelong learning. Now at Bella, I feel like I’ve received my “Backstage Pass”. I sit 20 feet away from where Joe does his blending trials and eavesdrop on all his winemaker secrets. I see the flurry of excitement and hard work that goes into putting one of your wine club shipments together, and I get to read first hand all the cards and emails you send us. As the Bella GM, I have learned I need to be a “Jack of all Trades” — with some days trying to figure out how to fix the vineyard pump and other days unloading bottles on the fork lift. Let’s just say there’s not a lot of quiet time — and I love it. I’m excited to share stories with you over a glass of 2014 Lily Hill in the Clubroom!
Greg Johnson - General Manager
We are so excited to welcome Greg on board as our general manager! He brings 10 years of excellent customer service to us. His background in business plus a passion for food & wine make him a natural fit as our new GM! He wears many hats so you’ll find him behind his computer working on spreadsheets, assisting on the crush pad, or pouring wine in the Cave. Stop by and say hello!
We are releasing our 2014 Block 10 zinfandel as our add on wine! This select vintage is worthy of cult-classic status. Coming from our Big River Ranch, we specifically sourced this special section of the vineyard for our Block 10 zinfandel! These grapes are left on the vine for extended hang time. Although nerve-racking, this allows the grapes to be picked at ultimate ripeness, which shows in the wine as super juicy and richly complex. These century old vines produce stunning wine that is available in extremely limited supply. Add some to your shipment if you have not done so already!
We have two amazing wines for your September shipment — the silky smooth 2014 Lily Hill zinfandel, which has lively flavors of blackberry and exotic spice, and the 2013 Big River Ranch petite sirah, with incredible earthy aromatics and a finish that goes on for days. Robert Parker gave this one a score of 93+ points and had this to say about it: “This is a beauty – pure, impressive and extremely well-balanced.” —Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2016.
We are thrilled to share these showstoppers with our Friends of Bella wine club members. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
— The Bella Crew