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Inside WALT

Our Team

Kathryn Walt Hall

Vintner

Craig Hall

Vintner

Mike Reynolds

President

Jeff Zappelli

General Manager

Steve Leveque

Vice President of Winemaking

Megan Gunderson Paredes

Winemaker

Whitney Jacobson

Vice President

Don Munk

Director of Vineyards

Natalie Bell

Asst. to President/HR

Emily Harrison

Vice President, Direct Relationships

Jennifer Brown

Director, BACA Wines

Kathleen Fidler

Controller

Heather de Savoye

National Sales Manager

Alison Frichtl

Associate Winemaker

Diem Doonan

Director of Membership

Jamie Chandler

Director of Marketing

Mike Hodgson

Director of eCommerce

Dominique Alexander

Partner Relations

Gary Cisneros

Shipping & Inventory

Morgan McCrum

Enology

Lisa Covey

Public Relations

Renee Linares

California Regional Sales

Tierney Deal

Membership

Chad Nuzum

Midwest Regional Sales

Domenick Bianco

Viticulture

David Greenbaum

Southeast Regional Sales

Jonathan Figueroa

Cellar Master

James Anci

Northeast Regional Sales

Pedro Gutierrez

Cellar Supervisor

Thrace Bromberger

Tasting Room

Danny Du Pree

Enology

Paul Dugoni

Membership

Miguel Cirigo

Cellar Lead

Jose Dominguez

Cellar Lead

Raul Torrez

Cellar

Caleb Cavazos

Marketing

Chris Brock

Tasting Room

Juan Zevala

Cellar

Jeff Prather

Membership

Melissa Crosby

Tasting Room

Ismael Delgado

Cellar

Michael Kelly

Tasting Room

Adrian Pedraza

Cellar

Mark Buckley

Marketing

Celfo Guzman

Cellar

Christine Huffman

Tasting Room

Ryan Kirkpatrick

Membership

Daisy Vazquez

Membership

Ivan Winzer

Business Systems

Erika Jacome

Marketing

Logan McConnell

Membership

Terry Cush

Tasting Room

Jose Camarillo

Cellar

Ronnie Escobedo

Cellar

Whitney Cherko

Marketing

Marilyn Mesker

Membership

Colin Burke

Membership

Kelly Johnson

Wholesale

Desirae Luna

Membership

Beatriz Rodriguez

Cellar

Jose Calderon

Cellar

Kathryn Walt Hall, Vintner

Kathryn Walt Hall is the proprietor of HALL Wines and WALT Wines, and has been involved in the California wine industry since her family first purchased a vineyard in the 1970’s. She has had a distinguished career as a successful businesswoman, attorney, community activist, and as the United States Ambassador to Austria.

Kathryn and her brother managed the family vineyard from 1982 to 1992, selling grapes to other wineries, as well as producing Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon under the label WALT Vineyards. Kathryn began her public career as assistant city attorney in Berkeley, California. Later, she joined Safeway Stores, where she was responsible for developing and administering one of the nation’s first and largest affirmative action programs. Subsequently, she worked as an attorney and businesswoman in Dallas, Texas, where she was president of an inner city development company and partner of Hall Financial Group, Inc.

Long committed to social issues, Kathryn has served on numerous non-profit and institutional boards, addressing issues related to social care and mental health. She co-founded the North Texas Food Bank, served on the U.S. House of Representatives Hunger Advisory Committee, and was the director/vice president of the Texas Mental Health Association. Kathryn has served on the National Advisory Council for Violence Against Women and as a trustee of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

From 1997 to 2001, Kathryn served as the United States Ambassador to Austria. Since her return to America, she has resumed her role as proprietor of HALL and WALT Wines along with her husband Craig. Continuing upon her experience promoting American agriculture in Austria, in September 2001 she was appointed to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for international trade and to Texas One, promoting international investment in Texas.

Kathryn serves on the Napa Legal Aid Board of Directors and is fluent in French and German, earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, a joint MBA from UC California, Berkeley & Columbia University and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Together with her husband Craig, they have four children.

Craig Hall, Vintner

Craig Hall is the owner of a collection of family-owned brands including HALL and WALT Wines and Dallas-based HALL Group. Hall is a New York Times bestselling author, civic leader, philanthropist, and the entrepreneur who started HALL Group in 1968 at age 18. Today, HALL Group’s diversified business interests include active operations in winemaking, commercial real estate ownership, development and management, structured financial lending, and early-stage investments for promising start-ups. The HALL and WALT luxury wine brands are widely recognized for quality by some of the industry’s top critics.

Hall actively supports new entrepreneurs, nurtures young start-ups and often speaks publicly about the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship worldwide. Together with his wife Kathryn Hall, he funded the Fulbright – Kathryn and Craig Hall Distinguished Chair for Entrepreneurship to teach entrepreneurship in Eastern Europe. Hall also founded the Dallas Regional Office of NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship). He is the author of six published books, including his most recent, “A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul, and Business of a 21st Century Winery,” which was co-authored with his wife and listed as a ¬New York Times Non-Fiction Bestseller.

A lifelong art collector, Hall believes art nourishes the human spirit and can make a profound difference in people’s lives. Throughout his businesses, pieces from Hall’s personal art collection are on public display. Important works by artists from all over the world can be found at the HALL St. Helena and HALL Rutherford wineries in Napa Valley, as well as at HALL Park in Frisco, Texas and HALL Arts in Dallas.

In 2007, Hall was named a lifetime member of the prestigious Horatio Alger Association for Distinguished Americans, and was inducted into the North Texas Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame and the Entrepreneurs Foundation of North Texas’ Ring of Honor. He was named the 2013 Dallas Real Estate Executive of the Year and in 2016 he was inducted into the Junior Achievement of Dallas Business Hall of Fame. Most recently, Craig and Kathryn were co-awarded the 2017 Master Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Southwest Region from the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program and were named finalists in the national real estate category award program.

Hall and his companies are often recognized for significant achievements and civic and charitable contributions. Hall received the 2002 Obelisk Award from the Dallas Business Committee for the Arts for his long-time support of Texas artists, and was named Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002 by Ernst & Young. In 2006, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mortgage Bankers Association. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the American University in Bulgaria, the American-Austrian Fulbright Board and the Board of the Horatio Alger Association for Distinguished Americans.

The Halls have made it a lifelong mission to put people first – those in the community, those whom they employ, and those who enjoy their wines. Hall strongly believes that entrepreneurship is a catalyst that makes a difference both today and in the future, and intends to leave the world better than he found it. This is a philosophy he has been putting into action for 50 years, both in business and through his family foundation, established in 1977. Craig and Kathryn Hall work to give back across four categories; Community, Arts, Responsible Business Practices, and Entrepreneurship. They have significantly contributed to Napa and Sonoma County non-profit organizations and host a number of community-related events each year, including the annual HALL Cabernet Cookoff, an event that has helped raise over $500,000 for Napa Valley non-profits since its inception. Additionally, Craig continues to support a number of community organizations that directly impact education, healthcare, wellness, animal rights, the environment, and the arts including Clinic Ole, Legal Aid Napa Valley, Auction Napa Valley, Sonoma Barrel and Wine Auction, and Napa Emergency Women’s Services.

Mike Reynolds, President

Mike Reynolds began with HALL Wines shortly after Craig and Kathryn Hall returned from Austria in 2002. Initially, Mike served as Winemaker and General Manager during the infancy of the HALL winery, and was promoted to President in 2006. Since 2002, Reynolds has overseen development of the HALL and WALT businesses, including production, vineyards, operations, and construction.

Mike oversaw the design and construction of the new state-of-the-art winemaking facilities, tasting rooms, and related areas at both HALL Rutherford and HALL St. Helena, where WALT Wines are crushed, crafted and bottled.. He also leads the vineyard acquisition program for Kathryn and Craig Hall, who now own close to 500 acres of premier vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Santa Barbara counties.

Mike previously worked for Jackson Family Farms where he was General Manager for both the Stonestreet and Verite wine facilities. Before joining Jackson Family Farms, he worked for 11 years at Schramsberg Vineyards in the Napa Valley where he was Winemaker for 8 years prior to assuming the additional role of General Manager. Mike holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, and a BS in fermentation science (winemaking and viticulture), from the University of California, Davis. In addition, Mike is a Board Member for the California Wine Institute, a member of the Young Presidents Organization, and Vice President (and manages a team) at Napa Little League.

Jeff Zappelli, General Manager

After eight years managing restaurants including three years at San Francisco-based Morton’s Steakhouse, Jeff Zappelli joined HALL Wines in 2006, helping define one of the most successful Direct to Consumer industry efforts in the Napa Valley. In 2012, with the 2010 vintage, Craig and Kathryn Walt Hall unveiled a long sought-after project –a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay label under WALT which expanded Zappelli’s role to both HALL and WALT brands.

In 2016, Zappelli was appointed General Manager of WALT, making him responsible for the day-to-day operations and strategic planning for the Sonoma-based brand. Zappelli is an active speaker throughout the Bay Area, participating in conversations and panels related to direct-to-consumer trends, wine industry technology, sales as a science, CRM and direct marketing campaign strategies.

Born in Seattle, WA, he attended the University of California Santa Barbara and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biopsychology. He currently resides in Marin County with his wife, Veronika, and their three children.

Steve Leveque, Director of Winemaking

Born and raised in Napa Valley, Steve Leveque has earned a reputation for finely crafted wines that reflect the terroir and celebrate the varietal.  His more than 16 years of winemaking expertise started at Robert Mondavi Winery where he blossomed under the mentorship of Tim Mondavi and served as Winemaker for most of his 11-year tenure. Steve also served as Executive Vice President and Winemaker of Chalk Hill Estate Winery in Sonoma where he hand-crafted a portfolio of small-lot Bordeaux varietals and Chardonnay to critical acclaim. Today, Steve is responsible for each bottle crafted for HALL and WALT wines – working with Winemaker Megan Gunderson Paredes. Steve's personal philosophy and professional history demonstrate the reverence for the land and devotion to excellence that HALL embraces.

"My goal is to be true to the fruit, let it express itself purely and fully. Working with such a talented team, with such excellent vineyards, and in such an exceptional facility is exciting and inspiring. WALT is truly devoted to making great wine and is going about achieving that in all the right ways: meticulously farmed vineyards, hand-sorted fruit, gravity-fed tanks, and native yeast fermentations." –Steve Leveque

Megan Gunderson Paredes, Winemaker

WALT Winemaker Megan Gunderson Paredes began her career in the Napa Valley in 2001 when she moved from Colorado to California and worked as an intern at Robert Mondavi Winery. While at Mondavi, she discovered a passion for wine and viticulture and went on to become a Laboratory Manager for St. Supery Vineyards in Rutherford, then Dominus Estates in Oakville. At Dominus, she was able to refine her winemaking skills under the mentorship of Christian Moueix and Jean-Claude Barrouet, learning to hone her winemaking craft with unique methods.

Megan has made several trips to France to study wine-making techniques, the most recent to Burgundy. Megan’s multiple degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics have given her a unique and unmatched perspective into the scientific aspects of winemaking.

Don Munk, Director of Vineyard Operations

Don Munk, Director of Vineyard Operations, provides a lifetime of knowledge and experience to HALL Winery. Having grown up in the wine industry, born and raised in the Napa Valley, Don began working in the vineyards of a family friend at the age of fifteen and has been farming ever since.  Don holds a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Business Farm Management from California State University, in which his studies strongly focused on viticulture. Don’s professional experience began at Buena Tierra Vineyards, where he worked as a harvest assistant and grafter for 6 years. From there he became the equipment manager and vineyard assistant at several vineyards where he participated in vineyard development, field monitoring, soil sampling, equipment operations as well as pruning, tying, suckering, grafting, and shop maintenance. Don then took his skills to Foster’s Wine Estates in St. Helena, CA in 1990. There he took on the role of vineyard manager where he was responsible for the operations of 725 acres. Now, Don is committed to carrying on HALL’s dedication to the environment and eco-friendly farming, while ensuring the production of the finest wines possible.

“I strongly believe you must be environmentally sustainable with your farming and you need to be responsible to your community.  We can never forget that Napa Valley is truly one of the premier winegrowing regions in the world and we should farm it with reverence: Farm to the vineyard and farm to the vine. Let the vine tell you what it can do. Create a healthy, balanced scenario for the vine so that it can express itself as it should.” –Don Munk

Whitney Jacobson, Vice President of Investments

Whitney Jacobson has more than 25 years of experience with investment, strategic and communications leadership within the political, business and wine industries. Jacobson provides overall guidance for all HALL and WALT Wines investor relations, communications, brand and charitable investment functions in support of the company's mission, vision, values and strategic objectives. Jacobson serves as an interface with the investment community and actively engages with internal and external stakeholders to support the development of the company’s reputation and positioning. Jacobson’s efforts involve acquiring and securing financial funding so the wine properties continue to emerge as state-of-the-art, iconic venues that allow the luxury wine brands to consistently be innovators in wine hospitality.

Before joining HALL & WALT in 2006, Jacobson worked at the White House in several capacities. From 1995-1997, she oversaw the Office of Personnel as Deputy Director under the Bill Clinton Administration, with a focus on Presidential nominees. Then in 1997, Whitney was appointed Chief of Staff for United States Ambassador to Austria, Kathryn Hall. Jacobson also served as the Public Relations Manager at United Airlines during September 11th attacks.

Jacobson is involved with various non-profit organizations within the Bay Area, including being on the board of St. Isidore School located in Danville, California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in from Georgetown University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Jody, and three children. 

For more information about opportunities to be a partner at HALL Wines, please contact Whitney at partners@hallwines.com

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