Talent Spotlight: Headlining Vintners and Spirits at the 7th Annual Harvest Wine & Food Festival


Prepare to embark on a journey through the world of fine wines and spirits with an exceptional lineup of vintners and spirits at the 7th Annual Harvest Wine & Food Festival, set to take place from October 19th through 22nd in the enchanting surroundings of WaterColor. This event promises to be a haven for oenophiles and spirits enthusiasts alike! Throughout these four unforgettable days, attendees will have the privilege of indulging in a wide array of vintages, cocktails, and spirits, thanks to a curated selection of renowned vintners and distillers. View our list of vintner and spirit headliners for our 7th Annual Harvest Wine & Food Festival below!

Elevated Winery and Spirit Headliners:

Jeff Blaum, Director of Sales at Blackbird Vineyards

Jeff has spent most of the last two decades interacting with wine lovers in Napa Valley and throughout the country. He is known locally for creating and hosting outstanding food and wine events including bASH (Appellation St. Helena’s food and wine pairing competition) and Primal (now known as Heritage Fire). He recently joined the Blackbird team as the head of sales, and will raise the Blackbird Napa Valley experience to new heights while taking his love of food, wine, and bringing folks together on the road!


Natalia Gamba from Gamba Vineyards & Winery

Natalia is a seventh-generation winegrower, stemming from a long and storied line of wine grape growers beginning in the hills of Northern Italy. Natalia inspires and creates new connections and pathways for others interested in wine and continues to bring a unique passion, perspective, and knowledge to her multi-faceted role within the wine industry.


David Hejl, Proprietor of Domaine Della

David’s passion for fine wine began while putting himself through school as a waiter, sommelier, and chef. Domaine Della is a culmination of David’s three decades of experience, a luxury wine label that crafts intense and adventurous wines.


Heather Kormos from Saint Helena Winery

With over 15 years of experience working in the wine industry, Heather has worked with luminary vintners including the Wagner Family of Caymus Vineyards and Heidi Peterson Barrett before joining Saint Helana Winery in 2011. 


Megan McCaskill from Haus Alpenz

An award-winning mixologist and beverage director, Meghan has spent most of her life in and around the hospitality industry and spent the better part of 10 years working all parts of the restaurant world learning as much as she possibly could about wine, beer, and spirits. Meghan now represents Winebow Fine Wine and Spirits as the North Florida Spirit Specialist, teaching, creating, and representing all things spirits related!


Darlyne Miller from Phifer Pavitt

After a successful career in Southern California as a small-business attorney, Darlyne followed her passion for wine, food, and travel by launching a career in the wine industry. Over the years, Darlyne has worked with leading wine brands in Napa, Sonoma, and Oregon guiding the success of several small family-owned brands, and in early 2020, she joined Phifer Pavitt Winery as Director of Sales + Membership.


Kathryn Reynolds from Roy Estate

A passion for hospitality led Kathryn to Napa in 2013. She quickly fell in love with the wine industry, obtaining her WSET Level 2, as well as other wine, sales, and hospitality certifications. In July of 2017, Kathryn joined the Roy Estate team where she is responsible for all aspects of hospitality, events, and direct-to-consumer sales. 


Megan Skupny from Lang & Reed

Fortunate life experiences are what led Lang & Reed’s Sales and Marketing Director, Megan, into the wine industry. The motivated fitness instructor fell in love with a budding winemaker (Reed Skupny) and fire-damaged bottles of Peter Michael wines, earned by buffing glassware at a bar during college, and suddenly found herself soaking up France’s Loire Valley. Sparkling and vivacious, she is over the moon about the opening of Lang & Reed’s new tasting salon where she will share the family’s passion for Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc with others.


Hatton Smith from Campesino Rum

After running an illegal, off-grid rum still in Panama, Birmingham native Hatton Smith II returned to the US in 2018 to start his revolutionary rum business, Campesino Rum. Hatton believes rum can be something everyone can enjoy and is a spirit that deserves the same attention and recognition as bourbon or agave spirits. 


Barrett Spiegel from Alpha Omega Collective

Barrett is the Director of Offsite Sales and Key Clients at Alpha Omega Collective. He has represented the Collective for 8 years and made his start at Alpha Omega’s sister winery Tolosa, located on the Central Coast of California. He shares Alpha Omega Collective Wines at various Wine Festivals, Winemaker Dinners, and Private Events all over the world, and when he’s not traveling, he resides in Napa Vallery and hosts Private Tastings at the Alpha Omega Estate in Rutherford AVA.


Emily Steen from William Cole Vineyards

Sales and Hospitality Director, Emily Steen, loves connecting with people. Growing up on the East Coast and majoring in Hotel Restaurant Institutional Management, she always found herself surrounded by great food, wine, and travel opportunities. Learning from different cultures and understanding people is a passion. It brought her to Napa Valley in 2013 to dive deeper into her love for wine and she has been with William Cole Vineyards since 2016.


Christine Tarpey from Better Together Beverage

Beginning her career in hospitality at the young age of 15, she took her love for beverages on the road, working under many Master Sommeliers, celebrity chefs, and other beverage professionals, propelling her into a life full of beverage exploration! Whether it be introducing guests to up-and-coming crafted wine and spirits, creating a unique and polished approach to service standards, or thinking outside the box with her cocktail creations, she is at the forefront of delivering thoroughly engaging and conceptual experiences for guests and friends alike.


Scott Wilkes from Maze Row Wine Merchants

Scott became captivated by wine after one truly eye-opening dinner with close college friends in Jackson Hole in the late 90’s. From there he began his passion-turned-career at one of Richmond, Virginia’s oldest fine wine shops, while in grad school pursuing a degree in education. Along the way, Scott traveled extensively to California, Argentina, and his favorite wine-producing countries in the Old World. Embedding these experiences with his love of learning, he earned his Specialist certifications in both wine and spirits with the Society of Wine Educators and also achieved the 3rd Level Award with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. Scott has a great passion for celebrating unique wine, telling the stories of benchmark producers, and exploring the rich history of the places where great wine is made.


This event is not just about celebrating the artistry and craftsmanship behind each sip; it’s also about making a positive impact, as the festival is dedicated to raising funds for the Foundation’s partner children charities.

Tickets for the 7th Annual Harvest Wine & Food Festival are available now! Secure yours here.

Published by Kate Macmillan
Tuesday, September 19, 2023