Welcome to Our B(ooze) Log
Who Started It All
Everybody, meet Arthur – the Owner and Proprietor of Napa Valley Distillery!
Like his wife and Distillery Co-Owner Lusine, Arthur was born in Armenia. When he was a kid, his family moved to Canada and soon after to central California. When he and Lusine met and started a family, Arthur went through a multitude of careers that he never truly fell in love with. He was a driver, a paralegal, an insurance broker and even a cards dealer in Las Vegas. Even if he was financially successful, Arthur decided that he didn’t want to live or work in a place that didn’t make him truly happy. So, in 2009, he and his family set out in pursuit of his true passion – spirits!
After what Arthur describes as “about six minutes of research” into the industry, Napa Valley Distillery was founded in 2009. Arthur has always been committed to living in the moment, so he took his passion for spirits and brief experience with making liqueurs at home and started the brand we all know and enjoy a decade later!
Today, Arthur prides himself and the Distillery in the ambition to create unique products beyond people’s perceptions of spirits. Arthur has always set out to make classic spirits with historical roots and a modern twist – as evidenced by our wide array of brandies, for example. Having made brandy from grapes, pears, plums, nectarines, apricots, cherries and more, he fancies Napa Valley Distillery to be one of the most creative brandy makers in the industry!
In terms of Arthur’s favorite Napa Valley Distillery product, he says it is without a doubt the Old Hollywood Ginn. He got the inspiration for the Ginn by researching the way gins were made in the 1800s. One of his most creative libations, he says the Ginn describes our company in a nutshell.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Arthur’s cocktail of choice is a gin and tonic, although he considers himself an “equal opportunity drinker”. Some of his favorite places to eat and drink in the Napa Valley include Morimoto and Bouchon Bistro.
Over the next ten years, Arthur only wants to see more of the ambition and growth the Distillery has shown since the beginning. Going forward, he would like the Distillery to continue making things that other distilleries don’t necessarily want to make, proving that you don’t have to follow a trend to be successful – you just have to follow your passion!
As Arthur always says, “The best is yet to come.”
& 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.