George F. Hamel, III – Managing Director
George is a Managing Director of Hamel Family Wines (“HFW”) with responsibilities that include sales, financial, and business operations. George, or GIII as he is often affectionately (and otherwise) known, has been a mostly active participant in the Hamel family for the better part of 30 years. The powers that be successfully convinced GIII to bring his many talents to HFW in August 2011. George earned a B.A. from Bard College in May 2008, and served as a member of Bard’s Board of Governors from 2011 – 2013. In addition, he earned a MBA from Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute in 2014, and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to joining the righteous cause of Hamel Family Wines, GIII was a Financial Advisor with the Private Wealth Management group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New York City and Palm Beach for more than three years. While at Wells Fargo, GIII was directly involved in business development, investment management and client service. When George isn’t working away at HFW, he fills his small amount of free time serving on the Advisory Board of University of San Francisco’s Institute of Catholic Educational Leadership, spending time with his family, friends, and dog Townes, listening to and playing music, working out, and fervently supporting the San Francisco Giants, Wisconsin Badgers (of course—it’s an HFW requirement), and San Francisco 49ers.
John B. Hamel, II – Winemaker
John Hamel is Hamel Family Wines’ winemaker. While John joined the winery in April 2010, he had officially been a member of the Hamel family for 23 years prior. His primary responsibilities at Hamel Family Wines include winemaking and overseeing the vineyard management program. John received a B.A. from University of Wisconsin-Madison with academic distinction and Phi Beta Kappa honors in December 2009 and a Certificate in Winemaking from the University of California-Davis in 2013. Following graduation, John’s interest in Slow Food and wine landed him on an organic farm in Napa. After a brief agricultural walkabout, John did public relations for several Napa-based wineries before being brought onboard at Hamel Family Wines. When he is not hard at work in the winery, John enjoys cooking, running, music, and hanging out with his dog Shiloh.
Casey O. Hamel – Administration
Casey provides administrative assistance at Hamel Family Wines (“HFW”). In addition to her day-to-day general support duties, Casey’s responsibilities also include compliance, fulfillment, and inventory tracking. The senior member of the Hamel children team, we were able to convince Casey to join the righteous HFW cause in 2012 with the lure of her being able to pursue her dream of earning a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in her “spare” time. So in addition to living the HFW dream, Casey is pursuing a second dream…(how much fun can one person have?). Casey earned her B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida, and spent time working in public relations before honing her administrative skills working across a variety of companies in the bay area. Casey enjoys all things related to food, fashion, music, and pop-culture, and more often than not, will likely be the initial welcoming voice that you hear when contacting HFW.
Dawn Agnew – Director of Hospitality
Dawn brings nearly 30 years of experience in the food, beverage and hospitality industries to her position as Director of Hospitality at Hamel Family Wines. Given that she just celebrated her 29th birthday, we’re trying to figure out how that’s even possible. Dawn spent the first eight years of her celebrated hospitality career as a food and beverage manager with the Ritz Carlton hotels in Palm Springs and San Francisco. After working closely with Gary Danko at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, Dawn chose to join Gary in his new venture, Restaurant Gary Danko (“RGD”) when it opened in 1999. Dawn was instrumental in implementing the impeccable service and hospitality for which RGD is known, educating and training the staff, and assisting with high-profile offsite events. Dawn has brought that same attention to detail, flawless guest service, and genuine knack for throwing a great party, to the hospitality program here at HFW. Dawn matriculated at Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma where she received her degree in journalism and public relations. When Dawn is not at HFW extolling everyone to “put a Badger on it,” or coming up with her latest value added addition to the guest experience, she can be found at her home in Stinson Beach with her husband Xave, and two daughters, Ariana and Evelyn.
Martha McClellan—Winemaking Consultant
Simply put, Martha McClellan is one of the most renowned winemakers in the world. Robert Parker, the famed wine critic, describes Martha as having an “extraordinary resume, limitless talent, and a perfectionist, nearly obsessive, attitude toward making world-class wines.” Joining Hamel Family Wines has in one sense, brought Martha’s wine career full circle. In Germany after graduating from college Martha found herself working at a bank but not feeling fulfilled. Rather than returning home to the US early, Martha took a position in the Rheinpfalz working in the vineyards at the winery, Emil Hammel & Cie (Uncle Emil was never much for correct spelling—especially his last name). Martha enjoyed her time there so much that she decided to attend Geisenheim University, where she remains the only American woman ever to graduate with a degree in Oenology and Viticulture. Martha made six vintages of wine at Harlan Estate (1995-2000) in Napa Valley before taking over the winemaking at Sloan Estate in Napa Valley in 2001. In 2006, she joined Checkerboard Vineyards and began making the wine from its hillside estate property on the southern side of Diamond Mountain. And if all that isn’t enough to keep Martha busy, she has teamed up with her fellow winemaker extraordinaire and husband, Bob Levy, on their own wine project, Levy & McClellan. However, perhaps her greatest collaborations with Bob are their three wonderful children, Serafina, Benjamin, and Ellison. Martha is an avid marathon runner, having completed 17 marathons (and counting) to date. In fact, if it weren’t for Martha’s youthful indiscretion of having attended and graduated from, dare we even type it, the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science, we’d be inclined to say that she is pretty much the complete package…..
Phil Coturri – Viticulture Consultant
Phil Coturri’s mantra is that growing grapes organically isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also good for the grapes. Given the demand for his services by some of Sonoma’s and Napa’s most prestigious winemakers, there must be something to his thinking. Born and raised in San Francisco, Phil began coming to Sonoma when his parents bought land in Glen Ellen, on the slopes of Sonoma Mountain, in the early 60s. Phil spent his weekends planting and tending the family vineyard, and making wine. Later, Phil earned a B.A. in English at Sonoma State University. Phil’s vineyard management company, Enterprise Vineyards, manages more than 600 acres of certified organic and biodynamic grapes in Sonoma and Napa Valleys, and many of those vineyards produce critically-acclaimed, award-winning wines. Recently he also began working with famed Bordeaux region winemaker Stephane Derenoncourt. Phil spends his free time at Bay-area concerts, as well as skiing, biking, and boating in Lake Tahoe with his wife Arden, and two sons, Sam and Max. HFW is pleased to benefit from Phil’s expertise in its quest to produce world-class wines from its vineyards in Sonoma Valley.
Tom Rodrigues – Label Artist
Tom Rodrigues has created many wine labels and other works of art in his life. However, we’re particularly partial to his rendition of a majestic badger that just happens to adorn the HFW brand and labels. Creating works of wine label art are only a small (albeit successful) part of the measure of this man. In addition to being a celebrated artist, Tom is also an award-winning winemaker with his own winery in Mendocino County, CA. At the ripe old age of 17, Tom began teaching adult education classes in stained glass. In the early 80s, Tom was the Designer and Production Manager at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch Studio. Tom’s introduction to all things wine began in 1978 when he designed the Far Niente wine label and also began collecting French Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. In addition to the Far Niente label, Tom has designed many other labels that reflect his distinct art nouveau style. Tom continues to display art in galleries all over the U.S. and has clients worldwide. When he is not creating art, wine, or new badger collectibles, Tom still finds time to play baseball for a men’s senior league team, and cheer for the SF Giants, alongside his two puppies, “Buster” and “Posey.” However, his proudest “creation” remains his daughter Amy, who recently married.