The Team

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.

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 Manager

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…”

Our Roots
Our Roots - Present Day

Our Roots: The History of Hayne Vineyard​

An Historical Reference In 1849 Captain George Chase (Katie’s great-great-greatgrandfather) sailed to San Francisco in search of gold. When he came upon shore, George wrote to his good friend and business partner William Bourn, saying “San Francisco promises to be a most lucrative center for men of imagination and business enterprise.” William, who had an eye for good deals and ventures, couldn’t refuse and traveled west to work with George, and in short order became a successful banker. He was so outrageously successful that the business community actually coined the phrase “Bourn Luck.”

The property, now known as Hayne Vineyard, was purchased in 1872 by William Bowers Bourn and his wife Sarah Esther Chase Bourn (Katie’s great-great grandmother) as a summer retreat from the stress of the high stakes business world in San Francisco.

While here, they would stay in the white cottage — now Katie’s home, next to the winery — and always remarked on how beautiful and peaceful it was.

The youngest of Sarah and William’s six children, Maud (Katie’s great grandmother), married William Alston Hayne — who became the namesake for what is now known as the Hayne Vineyard.

During this period, William’s son William Bourn II — also a visionary businessman — used his father’s wealth to further develop the Empire Mine, which turned out to be the largest hard rock gold strike in California. Not content to stop there, he also created San Francisco’s first water and gas utilities.

As part of his legacy, he built two of the most iconic buildings in the Bay Area: the Filoli mansion, and Greystone.

Woman in Vineyard

We employ organic and sustainable farming methods, with lots of love and no chemical intervention —the same way our family has done it for five generations.

Grapes
Man carrying grapes