Ryan Schmaltz | Director of Winemaking Ever since Ryan came to Bella as a harvest intern in 2012, his passion for zinfandel and Rhône varietals has been unwavering. With a PhD in organic chemistry, Ryan thoroughly understood the art of fermentation and was certainly overqualified as an intern. He soon took over Bella’s laboratory as Enologist. As enologist then Assistant Winemaker, Ryan meticulously carried out many experiments, from adjusting fermentation temperatures to varying grape skin contact time, learning more with each harvest and perfecting Bella’s winemaking techniques. Ryan left Bella for a time and became winemaker at Trattore. There, Ryan furthered his exploration of Rhone varietals and spent long hours in the vineyard, understanding the complex growing cycle and its impact on making extraordinary wines. Now as Bella’s Director of Production and winemaker, he is sure to elevate Bella’s already outstanding wines. When asked his feelings of Bella, he says, "Whether you come to Bella for one visit or spend most of your days here, it pulls you in; it beckons you back again and again. There is no place I’d rather be than right here, amidst our amazing vines and among friends."
Joe Healy | Consulting Winemaker Joe joined the Bella team for the 2001 vintage after being awarded degrees in both Viticulture and Enology from Fresno State University. Joe's hands-on approach in the winery and vineyards, along with his perceptive palate in blending trials, complements the talents and experience of Michael Dashe. Since 2001, Joe has dedicated himself to making the best wines possible from Bella's many unique, old-vine blocks of zinfandel, syrah and petite sirah. In 2019 Joe retired from his official day to day duties and is now on speed dial for all future questions and projects.
Nicolas Cornejo | Clendenen Vineyard Management With his experience in farming vineyards throughout Sonoma County for over three decades, Nicholas has established himself as a distinguished leader in farming and agriculture. Nicolas and his team’s intense passion for the land and care comes through in everything they do, which makes them a perfect fit with Bella’s conscientious farming practices.
Scott and Lynn Adams | Although our technical education began with viticulture and enology classes at the Santa Rosa Junior College and University of California at Davis, our real experience comes from being surrounded by talent like Joe, Ryan and Nicolas. And whether we're leaf pulling in the vineyards, doing punch downs or running blending trials, we enjoy taking part in every step of the winemaking process throughout the year.