Owner of Heitz Wine Cellars teaming on Napa wine project and tasting room

Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy Jr. and the Lawrence family have launched a wine project, Brendel, with a portfolio of wines up to $40 a bottle and a new tasting room in downtown Napa that will open this summer.

The Lawrence family has been aggressive in the North Coast wine sector since buying the iconic Heitz Wine Cellars in St. Helena in April 2018. Later the family added Stony Hill Vineyard and Burgess Cellars.

McCoy joined in 2020 as CEO, and he’s one of the few Black top executives in the American wine sector.

Brendel pays homage to Leon Brendel, who with a small Napa Valley plot in the 1950s made one variety of wine from the grignolino grape, which could only be found in Italy at the time. The vineyard was later sold to Joe Heitz, who kept the promise to preserve a small amount of the grape variety.

Castello di Amorosa names assistant winemaker

Castello di Amorosa promoted Shelby Green to a new role as assistant winemaker for the Calistoga wine brand and its sister V. Sattui Winery. She will work under director of winemaking Brooks Painter.

Green joined the company in 2017 as an enologist at V. Sattui and worked previously at Ferrari-Carano Winery in Healdsburg. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and recently completed a two-year winemaking certificate program at UC Davis.

She works with a range of varietals for the two wineries and personally enjoys merlots and pinot noirs.

Enology and viticulture conference to be held in June

American Society for Enology and Viticulture has opened registration for its annual conference that will be held virtually from June 21 to 24.

The conference will include special events such as an award to be given to Hildegarde Heymann of UC Davis for her work on wine and sensory science. Anita Oberholster of UC Davis will speak on the challenges of modern agriculture extension programs, while Gavin Sacks of Cornell University will give a keynote on flavor compounds in wine compared to nonfermented beverages.

More information can be found at the group’s website at

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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