LAURA DÍAZ MUÑOZ, WINEMAKER
Born in Spain, Laura grew up sharing sips of wine with her father while watching the fishing boats during their family vacations in the North of Spain. Her first sip of Albariño solidified her love of wines and her first winemaking internship solidified her future as a winemaker. After completing her post graduate degree in enology at the Polytechnic University of Madrid Laura started her career in La Mancha and worked in different wine regions in Spain. A few years later, Laura left Spain and traveled to New Zealand and Chile learning as much as she could about winemaking and the influence of terroir in different wine regions. Finally, Laura took a job in the Napa Valley. For over a decade Laura has been making wine in the Napa Valley as the Associate Winemaker for Cardinale, Lokoya, Mt Brave, La Jota and Galerie. She joined Ehlers Estate in July of 2018 and is excited to continue the legacy of this special property.
FRANCISCO VEGA, VINEYARD MANAGER AND CELLAR MASTER
Francisco grew up working in the fields of his family farm in Michoacan, Mexico. He left home at 14, and traveled to Los Angeles, where he spent two years learning English. At 16, he visited friends in Calistoga, and quickly decided to join them there. “The terrain reminded me of my home in Mexico,” he explains. Francisco began working on one of his friend’s vineyard crews, learning the business through the daily vineyard work of pruning and picking, experience that would pay off when he took first prize at the annual pruning competition held in Yountville. At 23, after five years of vineyard experience, he was promoted to foreman. He joined Ehlers Estate in 2001, and now manages the vineyard and physical plant of the winery, and assists Laura with winemaking operations. Francisco lives on the estate with his family. He has three sons, the eldest of whom aspires to be a winemaker.
REBECCA WENDT, DIRECT TO CONSUMER SALES MANAGER
Rebecca joined the Ehlers Estate team in early 2018. With over a decade of experience working in wineries both domestically and abroad. Born and raised in St. Louis, Rebecca grew up cooking alongside her mother every night and was inspired to study and earn a degree in Culinary Arts Management at The Culinary Institute of America in New York. After working as a wine buyer in Arizona she moved to Napa Valley and has worked at several renowned wineries. Living in St. Helena, she is never far from the winery. In her free time, Rebecca can be found enjoying California’s amazing produce, cooking for her husband and friends.
LEILA FAGHANI, NATIONAL SALES MANAGER
Leila comes to Ehlers with over 12 years of experience in ultra-premium wine sales and has spent the last 10 years managing and growing sales specifically for family owned Napa Valley wineries. Originally from New Jersey, Leila lived in New York City for almost 10 years before moving to Miami where she resides today. In her free time, she is training to become a certified yoga instructor, and enjoys living a healthy and active lifestyle.
For national inquires please contact Leila.
KATRINA VAN ALLER, CALIFORNIA DIRECT TO TRADE SALES MANAGER
Born and raised in the metro-D.C. area, Katrina first discovered wine through her love of food, and her eventual work in restaurants. She comes to Ehlers with over 20 years of experience in luxury wine and spirits sales for California-based wineries. Her most recent work was with Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars, where she was a Regional Sales Manager. In her free time Katrina enjoys traveling, playing golf, spending time with her significant other and enjoying their two rescue dogs Bella and Haley.
For California inquires please contact Katrina.
GALEN HEGARTY, HOSPITALITY MANAGER
Galen brings nearly 15 years of hospitality experience to his new role at Ehlers Estate. A Florida native, Galen began his career in Orlando. He spent six years as head waiter and bartender at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress and then as an assistant restaurant and outlets manager at The Grand Bohemian Hotel where he was involved with curating the restaurant wine list and planning winemaker dinners.