Memento Mori


Originally from Missouri, Travis Retherford was introduced to the world of fine wine and food early by his wine-loving parents. As the youngest of their four children, Travis loves to say that he benefitted most from their palates, which grew more sophisticated with every annual trip they took to Napa. In fact, one of his favorite childhood projects was building a wine cellar in the basement with his dad, housing a growing collection that matched his growing passion.


Because he studied Biology and Chemistry at Truman State University, Travis planned to take a year off to study for his MCATs while working in an unrelated field. His oldest brother had followed a similar path, and, as a graduation gift, invited Travis to come visit him in San Francisco where he was doing his residency. Napa was the first stop on the Bay Area itinerary, and the brothers capped a picture-perfect day with dinner at the home of family friend Ronnie Anderson, the General Manager of Anderson’s Conn Valley. Within days of meeting Travis, she offered him a job. Seeing a role in wine as the perfect intermezzo between his medical career studies, he happily accepted.


Working in hospitality at Conn Valley, Travis was surprised to learn that Mac Sawyer, the estate’s long-tenured winemaker, had been in the medical program at UC Davis before dropping out to pursue wine. Mac offered Travis some cellar experience, and he found familiarity in the science of working in the lab. It was enough to scratch the itch that had drawn him to medicine, and – long story short – Travis never did make it to med school.


After Conn Valley, Travis helped elevate hospitality and sales programs all over Napa Valley, including James Cole, Farm Collective NV, Tank Garage, Pride, and Aonair.


Travis also dabbled in winemaking, with a 2017 harvest winemaking role at Robert Biale and Claudine, the label with which he assisted his brothers after its launch in 2014. Named Claudine for their grandmother, the Retherfords started with a half-ton a fruit and turned it into a brand that captured enough buzz that they were able to sell it in 2021.


Throughout his time in Napa Valley, Memento Mori was always a label that had intrigued him from afar. Travis had been a longtime admirer of the wines and the stylish, entrepreneurial spirit of the team, so when the opportunity opened to join the team, he was in.


As Memento Mori’s Client Relations Manager, Travis develops key relationships for the label, further establishing the wine’s reach across the country and around the world.


In his free time, Travis enjoys basketball, cycling, finding new Bay Area restaurants, drone photography, and plans to pursue his private pilot’s license. When he’s not drinking Memento Mori, he’s usually exploring wines from the classic regions in France and Italy, although a nice Scotch is never out of the question.