Welcome to Our B(ooze) Log
The Disney Prince
of the Distillery
Everybody, meet Jake – one of Napa Valley Distillery’s newest Tasting Experts at the Oxbow!
Jake was born in Fremont but grew up and still lives in Napa. He graduated from Napa High and went on to study Psychology at Stanislaus State.
Jake has been familiar with the Oxbow Public Market and all those who inhabit it since long before he worked there. His brother Adam worked for Fieldwork Brewing Co. and through him Jake befriended many an Oxbow employee, including some at Napa Valley Distillery! His eventual joining of the team was a natural progression.
Jake was hired as a production assistant in February of 2018 and moved to the Oxbow Tasting Salon in March. He is now a part of the senior staff of the Oxbow retail team. As a part of the team, Jake takes guests and Bar Club Members through spirits tastings and helps them assemble the perfect ingredients for their cocktails at home. He may even be the one to sign you up for our Bar Club!
Jake would like to see Napa Valley Distillery grow and expand – in fact, he would love for the company to release its first agave spirit and/or tequila. That may or may not already be in the works, however…
But Jake is not picky with what he likes to drink. When he’s out, he orders a bourbon old fashioned. When he’s in, he likes to pop open one of Napa Valley Distillery’s batched Mai Tai cocktails. What you’ll never see Jake request, however, is a vodka shot.
Jake’s favorite food is Mexican and one of his favorite eats in Napa is Andy’s Café.
His 10-year plan (that he actually considers more of a 5-year plan) is to save enough money to buy a house and start a family.
Come see Jake at the Oxbow Tasting Room for a flight!
Bar Club Concierge
(& EMT if need be!)
Everybody, meet Ryan – our Bar Club Concierge!
Ryan was born and raised in the Bay Area, specifically Oakland and Vallejo. Ryan studied at Solano Community College and Napa Valley College. Fun fact: he was a certified EMT!
Regardless of where Ryan has worked, be it in restaurants or wineries, he has always had a dedication to the field of hospitality. All of these experiences have helped hone his hospitality skills in preparation for his current position at Napa Valley Distillery – where he has been for over a year!
Before Ryan joined our staff, he was actually a Bar Club member for almost three years. His appreciation for our Distillery’s products were part of the reason he was so inspired to become a part of the team behind them.
As Bar Club Concierge, Ryan is the go-between our Club Members and our Club Department overall. Aside from answering emails and phone calls and helping our Club Members with their shipments and memberships, Ryan’s position has recently evolved even further. On the weekends you can find him leading tours and tastings at our Grand Tasting Salon! He is also developing a new tasting experience for our Club Members that would include a food pairing with our spirits (stay tuned later this year!)
Ryan’s favorite spirits Napa Valley Distillery makes are the Summer Sequel Ginn, the 2007 Bourbon Mash Whiskey, and our Crème de Violette. In the future, he would love for NVD to release a kombucha and more gins!
Ryan’s favorite places to eat and drink in Napa are Ca’momi and Cadet.
As for his cocktail of choice, it’s simple; he says ideally it has three ingredients – one of which being ice. When he goes out he prefers a gin and tonic. As for what he likes to eat, he loves his plate to be colorful and rich with heirloom veggies. This is a nod to his passion of gardening – he includes the idea of a fantastic garden in his 10-year plan of building a house on a plot of land he owns.
Come do a tour and tasting with Ryan at the Grand Tasting Salon!
& Spirited Specialist
Everyone, meet Theodore – Napa Valley Distillery’s Grand Tasting Salon Tour Director!
Theodore was born and raised in Sonoma County and currently lives in Napa. He’s been working for our Distillery since July 2015 – and in the words of Theodore, it all started with “a curly mustache and a fancy waistcoat.”
His cousins-in-law were bar Club Members and brought him to a tasting one night at the Distillery. The tasting made Theodore fall in love with our spirits (especially our Old Hollywood Ginn, which he still considers his favorite to this day!). Theodore was working as a bartender at the time and had a lot of questions. His cousin made a joke that he looked like the guys behind our bar and that maybe he should work there. Theodore jokingly asked if they were hiring – and the answer was yes. The next day he dropped off his resume, was interviewed on the spot and the rest is history.
As Tour Director, Theodore leads tours and tastings at our Distillery’s main location, facilitates our guests’ experiences and is one of the chief trainers for all new employees. In the years to come, Theodore would like to have a small hand in the manufacturing of our spirits. He would love to see the Distillery produce a bottled Sazerac sometime soon.
Theodore is currently a licensed Certified Specialist of Spirits, as awarded by the Society of Wine Educators. This basically makes him the guy to ask for knowledge of any and all things booze. He hopes within the next 5 years to become a Certified Spirits Educator to take his expertise to the next level. He would also like to continue adding his own flavor to our tour program at the Grand Tasting Salon.
When Theodore goes out, he enjoys a French 75 or a Rum Fashioned (even though he once was served one with 1/8 cup of sugar by mistake). One of his favorite spots in Napa is Tannery Bend Beerworks, where they have a beer that’s been aged in our Brandy Cordial barrels!
Come do a tour and tasting with Theodore sometime!
Everybody, meet Tyler – Napa Valley Distillery’s newest Assistant Distiller!
Tyler was born in Monterey, California and has lived in Napa for four years. Tyler studied winemaking at UC Davis and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Viticulture and Enology. He has made wine all around the world – including Argentina. He even recently found a bottle of Argentinian wine at a grocery store that he made himself! (He totally bought it.)
Because Napa has a lot of famous winemakers and only a few famous distillers, Tyler discovered a new career path with Napa Valley Distillery.
Tyler started as a Spirits Expert at the Oxbow in April of 2017, where he worked for a year and a half. In August of 2018, Tyler moved into production, where he has been helping concoct your delicious spirits ever since!
As Assistant Distiller, Tyler supports the production team in conducting fermentation, distillation, bottling, packaging, and research development into new products.
Tyler’s 10-year plan is to help build Napa Valley Distillery, making world-class spirits in a region known for wine. He would like to be part of the outreach to the remainder of the alcohol industry. This would involve establishing relationships with other wineries and breweries to source wine, beer, barrels and other important components of distillation.
Fun fact: Tyler owns a USB drive with over 8,000 research papers on winemaking. He applies the best of this information to distillation!
Tyler claims to have never had a bad drink, because he sees all drinks as a learning experience. As a student of spirit, he studies what he tastes to uncover where and how certain flavor profiles come to be. His favorite place in Napa to grab a cocktail and a bite to eat is the Archer Hotel Rooftop Bar.
As far as cocktails go, Tyler prefers a martini. Whether it’s a clean gin martini or dirty vodka martini, he prefers it stirred – not shaken.
Tyler’s favorite product Napa Valley Distillery has ever made is the first run of the Whiskey Barrel Aged Nectarine Brandy. He loved it so much he bought 5% of the total production!
As far as what he’d like NVD to make, Tyler would like to see a scotch-style brandy using wines affected by the October 2017 fires. Tyler would like to make something considered largely unusable and reminiscent of dark times into something flavorful and special.
Come do a tour and tasting and, if you see Tyler, say hi!
& Social Media Guru
Everyone, meet Candice – Concierge to Napa Valley Distillery!
Candice was born in Vallejo and just bought her first house in Napa with her boyfriend Hernan (who has been known to write recipes for our Bar Club shipments!) She has two Associates degrees in Natural Science and Mathematics and graduated Sacramento State with a BA in Communications.
As Napa Valley Distillery continues to grow, the company recognized there was a need for someone to help keep structure of our growing schedule of tours and tastings. This is where Candice comes in. As Concierge, she is often the first point of contact for guests visiting our Grand Tasting Salon. She runs our Blue Room gift shop, assisting with sales, phone calls, emails, inventory and all other things to help the customer experience go smoothly. During the week, you can sometimes find her providing spirits tastings at our Oxbow Tasting Room. She is also one of the main showrunners of our social media!
As part of her move to Napa, Candice started with us in late February of 2018. Her 10-year plan includes building her new house into her dream home – complete with furnishings, a garden and another husky to add to her family!
Candice loves Napa and everything in it. Some of her places to eat and drink include Eiko’s Sushi and Palisades Saloon (which both carry our spirits… wink wink). She also enjoys a craft cocktail at Morimoto.
When Candice goes out she typically orders a boulevardier because she’s always loved whiskey. But she’s discovered a new appreciation for a negroni. Like many others before her, she never considered herself a gin person… until she tried our Old Hollywood Ginn. Luckily, we make a bottled Negroni Cocktail, but if Napa Valley Distillery were to make something new, she’d love to see us make a boulevardier. As far as her favorite item that Napa Valley Distillery currently makes, Candice loves our 4-year Rumslinger Rum.
Come see Candice and the rest of the gang at the Grand Tasting Salon and Oxbow Tasting Room!
Tasting Room Associate
& Blog Posting Extraordinaire
Hello everyone, my name is Taylor – one of Napa Valley Distillery’s Oxbow Tastings Experts and resident biographer!
We are a family-owned business and find it important to introduce our guests to those in front of and behind the proverbial curtain, so I am writing profiles on everyone in our company. Additionally, I assist in sales and spirits tastings at our tasting room and bar shop in the Oxbow Public Market!
I started with the company in October of 2017. I was having lunch one day with Paul, our Brand & Hospitality Director (and also my cousin), venting about a job that wasn’t going so well for me. He casually mentioned that the Oxbow may be looking for some extra help. That day we went to the Oxbow to see the shop and I was enthralled by everything. I exchanged information with the manager, sent in my resume and the rest is history!
As a Tastings Expert I am also a Sales Associate, so in addition to conducting spirits tastings and signing guests up for our Bar Club I help guests find bitters, syrups, barware and more unique essentials for their bars at home. I always say it’s a difficult job to do if you’re not genuinely interested in the world of spirits – luckily I and our staff are just as intrigued as you!
I’ve always liked gin, but I didn’t consider myself an avid “gin fan” until I first tried our Old Hollywood Ginn. A year later, it’s still my favorite product Napa Valley Distillery has ever made. Now I get a gin and tonic almost everywhere I go – especially on a night out someplace like Napa’s Archer Hotel rooftop bar. Sadly, in my experience a gin and tonic isn’t always as tasty as it should be. I’d love to see NVD master a batched “Ginn & Tonic” as a bottled cocktail someday.
As for my someday, my 10 year plan includes lots of travel and education. I am about to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Sonoma State University, but I consider myself an eternal student. I’ve learned so much already from this company and cannot wait to learn more about the world of spirits and beyond.