Experience. Understanding. Passion.View Slideshow
General Manager & Winemaker
Safe Harbor’s General Manager and Winemaker graduated from UC Davis in 2002. He immediately went to work at Kenwood Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma, working his way up to Assistant Winemaker within three years of joining the winemaking staff. At Kenwood, Joel managed day-to-day winemaking operations for the winery’s 20,000-barrel facility. “It was here I first experienced trials between barrel aged wines and wines aged with stave and micro-oxygenation in tanks. I remember that many times the winemaking team preferred the tank and stave wines over their traditional counterparts.” Since coming to Safe Harbor, Joel has remarked, “I enjoy most the client interaction, working with winemakers and owners and following the progress of their wines under our care. I meet a diverse group of talented individuals and their wine styles are as unique as they are.”
José began his career in the wine industry in 1995 as a harvest and cellar worker at Codorniu Napa. They never let him go. He rapidly moved up to Bottling and Warehouse manager and as Codorniu changed from a sparkling wine producer to a still wine producer, José was promoted to Cellar Master in 2002. For three years now José has been Cellar Master at Safe Harbor, managing the entire cellar and ensuring quality control. His thoughtful attention to detail has made him a big hit with clients and a vital part of our team. “We have great clients at Safe Harbor and I know how important it is that they trust the cellar staff . We are responsible for their wine and I take that responsibility very seriously.”
Alan Sullivan graduated with a Business Administration/Finance degree from California State University at Sacramento in 1985. After spending several years in the corporate world, he teamed up with his brother Steve to form StaVin Incorporated, a highly successful innovator and supplier of premium toasted oak products to winemakers around the world. Early to spot a promising opportunity and fill a void in the winemaking industry, StaVin was guided by a vision of greater sustainability, value and control. For twenty years, the company’s unprecedented technical research and impeccable service led them to become experts not only in oak but also in the area of micro-oxygenation. StaVin’s ecologically responsible systems help produce award-winning wines in tanks that are superior to wines made in barrels. Alan truly believes that Safe Harbor will help move barrel-alternative technology forward and ensure that wineries achieve their goals worldwide.
Stephen brings forty years of valued experience in the wine industry to Safe Harbor. As winemaker to standout brands such as Kenwood, Buena Vista and Hanna Wines, he learned the wine business from the ground up. Steve’s philosophy has always been to help winemakers create the very best wines possible using innovative technologies to keep winemaking costs at a reasonable level so they can deliver high-value wine to the consumer. As such, in 1991, Steve and his brother Alan teamed up to form StaVin, an innovative supplier of premium barrel-alternative products. Steve firmly believes that with the highest quality oak products, the ideal geometrically proportioned tanks and proper use of oxygenation, winemakers can duplicate the wines they are currently making in their premium barrels – right here at Safe Harbor.
Having started his career in Italy working in the Chianti Classico region, Scott’s 25 years of experience in California includes an 18-year career as Director of Winemaking and Vineyard Manager at Rubicon Estate, Francis Ford Coppola’s Rutherford property. It is here Scott met Corey Beck and together expanded the winery’s portfolio, increased production, raised the quality of their mid-range Diamond Collection wines and gained prominence for the estate’s flagship wine. After retiring from the Coppola Companies in May of 2010, Scott launched his own consultancy business, a wine phenolics laboratory called WineXRay, and serves as winemaker for George Lucas’s Skywalker Vineyards producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from their Marin County estate vineyard. He also produces his own wines under the brand “El Real Vineyard” where he challenges Sonoma County to produce world class Cabernet. Upon looking back, Scott and Corey describe their Rubicon and Francis Coppola Winery days like this: “It was rocket ship and we were strapped to it. I don’t know how we did everything we did, but we did.”
Born and raised in Calistoga, Corey was introduced to the wine business as a teen when he spent summers working along side his grandfather who was the vineyard manager at Chateau Montelena. Upon graduating from UC Davis in 1994, Corey returned to Chateau Montelena as Cellar Master. Four years later he joined the winemaking team at Rubicon Estate, Francis Ford Coppola’s Rutherford property. In charge of managing the Diamond Collection among other brands, Corey’s winemaking talents were instrumental in growing the brand to 850,000 cases. When product demand outpaced the winery’s capacity to handle the number of cases produced, the Coppolas purchased a Sonoma property in order to give these wines a home. Today, Corey is General Manager and Winemaker of the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, where he oversees nine brands and more than 50 wines. In addition, Corey has a small brand of his own named “C. Beck” specializing in Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.