VALLEY WINE TOURS ~ Staff Experience Essential
Valley Wine Tours, established in 1998 by Jake Martin, is owned by two Sonoma residents, both involved in the wine business. It’s the oldest Sonoma County wine tour company, guiding you through hard-to-find, small family-owned wineries.
Ed Sillari – Partner & Wine Educator
Ed’s been involved in the wine business since 1997, from tasting rooms Wellington Vineyards and Gundlach Bundschu to creating and building award-winning Willowbrook Cellars with John Tracy and Joe Otos in 2001.
Bob Howells – Partner & Wine Educator
Bob has been in the wine industry for over ten years. He has been General Manager for a Sonoma winery and has written business plans for several others. He has visited nearly 300 wineries, always interested in learning more about vineyard management and winemaking.
Ron Puchir – Wine Educator
Before coming to Valley Wine Tours three years ago, Ron worked for three years in the SF hospitality industry as a tour guide in San Francisco, wine country and Yosemite – and worked in the tasting room at a major Sonoma winery for five years.
Bob Bradle – Wine Educator
Bob started in the wine business in ’95 pushing his truck down a mountain to his house with four tons of grapes on it. He has spent about 12 years on the front lines of various tasting rooms. Along the way he studied wine and earned two certificates in wine appreciation and wine marketing.
Peter Babcock – Wine Educator
Peter worked for all the major wine touring companies, conducted wine auctions in Napa and has been leading winery tours for Valley Wine Tours for the past five years. An accomplished musician, he plays the washboard in a band that travels to national competitions.
Don Credi – Wine Educator
Don began his wine industry career as one of the key buyers for Safeway, one of the largest wine stores and most impressive wine lists on the west coast. As an educator and communicator his knowledge of wine and food pairings is impressive.
David Payne – Wine Educator
Dave began 25 years ago working with a local winemaker in all aspects of winemaking. While splitting his time with Valley Wine Tours he works in the tasting room and conducts winery tours at Nicholson Ranch Winery.