Meet The Gary Farrell Team GENERAL MANAGEMENT
Nancy Bailey, General Manager
Born in Syracuse, New York, Nancy spent a good portion of her school years overseas in England. Her interest in food and wine was sparked by family travels abroad throughout her childhood. After attending college and graduate school back in the States (she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Hamilton College and a Master of Arts degree in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University), Nancy ventured to California where she discovered a true passion for wine country living. She lent her many marketing talents to such well-known brands as Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery, Champagne Perrier Jouët, and Kendall-Jackson. Her creativity and communication acumen placed her in high demand when she went on to work as a freelance marketing consultant for a number of Sonoma County wineries. Before accepting her current role at Gary Farrell in November 2011, Nancy was General Manager of Wine Creek LLC (Quivira Vineyards & Winery, La Follette Wines and Torbreck Vintners) for 4 years. Nancy lives in Sebastopol with her husband and two young children.
DIRECT SALES & HOSPITALITY
Kila Gomer, Wine Club Manager
Born in Kodiak, Alaska, Kila moved with her family to the wine country at a young age. Growing up along the Russian River, in the quaint town of Forestville, vineyards and wineries were always close at hand. After graduating from Santa Rosa Junior College, Kila went into the construction supply industry, spending more than eight years developing her expertise in the field of construction signage and regulations. After deciding to explore her passion for wine and knack for customer service, Kila switched careers and joined the Gary Farrell team in April 2013, and enjoys the opportunity to work directly with Grand Crew wine club members. Kila resides with her husband in Santa Rosa, and in her spare time pursues her interests in art, camping, hiking and all things outdoors.
Vernon Bratton, Private Client Liaison
After spending more than a decade in the beauty business, Vernon Bratton turned his love of fine wine into a fulfilling career, beginning in Napa Valley before joining the Gary Farrell team in 2014 as our Private Client Liaison. Vernon’s knowledge of winegrowing regions and esteemed producers around the world makes him an excellent resource to our members, friends and fans. Vernon enjoys personally assisting our customers with all their wine questions, and is a wealth of information for those looking to acquire Gary Farrell’s limited-production wines for their cellars.
Brian Shapiro, Tasting Room & Business Development Manager
For Brian, wine is more than a career path, it is a lifestyle that has led him from the beaches of Southern California to the heart of wine country. A passion for design, architecture and all things culinary continues to fuel his desire to create a balanced life that takes advantage of the diversity of Sonoma County. After returning to school and receiving a degree in winery operations and production from Sonoma State University, he chose to spend the majority of his direct-to-Consumer career with a boutique Cabernet producer in Alexander Valley. But a chance encounter in 2009 with a 2006 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir had already planted the seeds of passion for Pinot in his soul. Weekend trips to the coast have included the search for the perfect bottle of Pinot Noir and continued visits to Gary Farrell Winery cemented his desire to work in Russian River Valley. In the spring of 2016 he was able to fulfill that dream and joined our team. Brian brings a talent for telling a story and a desire to share the approachable elegance of Russian River Pinot Noir with all who will listen. When he is not singing the praises of balanced fruit-driven wines, you’ll find Brian working on his small hobby ranch with his wife Catherine raising heritage breed goats, making cheese or motoring along the road less traveled and enjoying the bounty of his adopted county.
Lianne McFadden, Tasting Room Lead
Originally from New York City, Lianne earned her undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies/Art, then moved west to San Francisco to earn her Masters in Merchandise Product Development at FIDM. After spending 12 years in the hospitality industry, Lianne translated those skills to the wine business, joining Gary Farrell in 2012. Married to a Certified Sommelier, her passion for wine was fine-tuned both at home and at work. She stretched her wings on the marketing side of the business with a stint at neighboring Nalle Winery here in Healdsburg, and has returned to us as Tasting Room Lead. Lianne manages guest reservations, assists with operations and enjoying hosting our winery visitors as they create new memories here at Gary Farrell.
Lydia Stafford, Estate Sommelier & Wine Educator
Raised in one of California’s premier winegrowing regions, Lydia developed a passion for wine early on. With nearly a decade of experience in the wine industry, including key positions at Jordan, Pezzi King and B.R. Cohn, Lydia discovered an abiding passion for educating wine lovers about the winemaking process from grape to glass. She earned her Certified Sommelier certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2014 before joining the Gary Farrell team in 2015. Lydia leads our hosted tastings, and is responsible for integrating educational components into our guest experiences and furthering our team’s overall wine knowledge.
WINEMAKING & PRODUCTION
Theresa Heredia, Winemaker
Theresa Heredia joined Gary Farrell Winery team as winemaker in May of 2012. Theresa earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, before becoming a Ph.D candidate in chemistry with an emphasis in enology at U.C. Davis. She left the program to follow her calling as a hands-on winemaker. Coming off a long stint as winemaker at Freestone Vineyards in Sonoma County, Heredia brings considerable experience working with cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and small-lot, single-vineyard wines. During her tenure at Freestone, Heredia’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay brought the Joseph Phelps-owned winery significant critical acclaim. In early 2012 she was named “Winemaker to Watch” by the San Francisco Chronicle, reflecting her interest in wines that offer a pure expression of their vineyard site and her willingness to experiment with different winemaking techniques.
Brent McKoy, Assistant Winemaker
After earning a BA in English at East Carolina University, Brent took the long road to winemaking working first in the Art Industry, then as a Landscaper, all while managing to travel throughout Scandinavia, East Asia and Eastern Europe, where he developed an abiding passion for wine. When he returned home, he joined the wine industry at Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, where he trained hands-on throughout the lab and cellar. Brent joined Gary Farrell Winery in 2005 working in the cellar. He quickly worked his way up to Cellar Master, and eventually Assistant Winemaker. He works closely with Theresa Heredia, and is responsible for all day-to-day production operations and manages the production staff. A native of North Carolina, Brent now lives in Windsor with his wife and two young daughters.
Mark Osborne, Enologist
Educated in Australia, Mark earned a Diploma in Winemaking form the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE as well as a Bachelors of Applied Science (Wine Science) from Charles Sturt University. He began his career at The Scotchmans Hills Group in Geelong as a Cellar Hand, then worked various cellar positions in Geelong and the Mosel Valley before taking the position of enologist at Naturaliste Vintners in Margaret River. A stint at Gary Farrell Vineyards as a harvest intern in 2007 had Mark looking to make the move to California, and he joined the Gary Farrell staff as an enologist in July of 2009. He took a brief leave of absence to work as an enologist in Australia’s Yarra Valley before returning to our cellar.
Laurence Donald, Cellar & Vineyard Assistant
Born in Canada to Kiwi parents, Laurence spent the majority of his youth living in San Francisco, and was first exposed to vineyards and wine on yearly family wine tasting outings to the Napa Valley. After graduating from Sonoma State University, he pursued a successful career in finance, but eventually gave it up and headed back to graduate school to answer the call of the vines. After earning a Viticulture/Enology degree at Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand, he spent several years globetrotting and pursuing harvests in Australia and New Zealand, returning locally to work with Merry Edwards and Thomas Brown before settling in with Theresa, Brent, and Mark at Gary Farrell in May 2013. Laurence lives in Calistoga and holds dual citizenship in the US and New Zealand.