We’ve assembled what we think is a pretty amazing group of people. We work hard and play hard and, maybe best of all, we enjoy each other’s company.
We’re a small, family-run business so everyone pitches in. We all host tastings from time to time and of course, it’s all hands on deck at harvest whether we’re hand-sorting or foot-treading grapes or throwing hoses around. It keeps things interesting and fun.
Katie Hayne Simpson, Vintner
Know your roots because they define your future…
“It’s pretty amazing to think about being the fifth generation steward of this property. As the great- great granddaughter of William and Sarah Chase Bourn, the original owners of this land purchased in 1872, it’s quite an honor to call this special place home and to be able to carry on its important legacy. I love that we have a place that offers family and friends a place to find a little peace, joy, great wine and magic in our busy world. And the vines… they make my heart sing. Over 115 years old, they’re wise and storied — they are the heartbeat of Hayne Vineyard, and the soul of the wines we produce.
While the vineyard has been around for five generations, it was my younger brother Andy, who developed the Chase Cellars brand back in 1998. I took over the day-to-day operations in 2012, with the goal of maintaining the legacy of our vineyard through sustainable farming, and business practices, so we can ensure the integrity of this place survives for generations to come.”
Russell Bevan, Winemaker
We admit it, the countless number of 90- to 100-point scores from the most respected wine critics in the world were the reason we initially reached out to Russell about becoming our winemaker. However it was his personality that ultimately won us over.
High energy and passionate are some of the words people often use to describe Russell, but we’re not sure those adjectives do him justice. Pure artist, Russell is assiduously creative and generally over the top when it comes to just about everything having to do with making great wine. But he’s also a hell of a lot of fun. He speaks in terms of good karma in his wines, and his energy is infectious. Best of all, as someone who’s spent a formidable career seeking out the most iconic vineyards in California he is, without a doubt, head over heels in love with our old vines; and you know that love is something you can actually taste.
Jim Munk, Vineyard Manager
There’s a certain swagger the best vineyard managers have. Some combination of the endless miles of dirt they’ve walked in work boots, the Napa sunshine, and being responsible for growing some of the most valuable crops in the world, gives them a bit of a larger than life persona. That pretty much sums up Jim Munk.
Farming heritage vines isn’t like farming a neatly spaced, trellised vineyard. It takes a whole lot more experience, time and patience to get it right. Having spent 30-years managing some of the most iconic vineyards including the famed Monte Rosso, Three Palms and Diamond Mountain, and working with some of Napa’s oldest vines alongside Louis Martini, Jim’s one of the few folks in this country who knows how to really care for our old vines, and make them shine.
Alicia Kelley Raymond, Marketing
“Although I’ve worked with dozens of family wineries over the years, there’s just something magical about this project. The land has an incredible sense about it… and the old vines are truly spirits in their own right. Helping Katie and Mike rebuild this project from the ground up has been a really special experience, like taking an uncut gem and making it into something incredibly beautiful, valuable and rare.”
Alise Merritt, Marketing, Sales & Wine Club Director
Our Georgia peach… Alise came to us with years of experience in the world of fine wine, including time with Biale Winery (another well-respected Zin house here in Napa), alongside lots of distribution experience throughout the US and the southern states. She’s been with us since 2013, and as such, has her fingers in most of the day-to-day stuff we have going on around here, though her main area of focus is to ensure that our Allocation club members get the Hayne Vineyard love at every possible turn. In addition to being super passionate about our vines, and our wines, Alise has that sweet, Southern charm and a contagious smile that always makes you feel right at home.
Brian Liu, Hospitality
A California native, Brian spends his days in joyful pursuit of wine, food and the finer things in life. He’s been a chef in a nationally lauded restaurant, a photographer, artist, cellar rat and now, the smiling face of Chase Cellars. Whether he’s walking the vineyard, leading a varietal Zinfandel tasting, or geeking out on the finer points of wine production, Brian is the host with the most and ready to ensure your time with us is as comfortable and fun as it is informative and memorable. “Holding space for people to discover the beauty and magic of Hayne Vineyard, in their own way, is what I love most…”