Meet the Winemaker

What makes Travelfood Curated Wines special is thirty years of creating, nurturing and celebrating relationships with winemakers in Napa Valley. These are the people that allow us to put bottles on your dinner table and be a part of special moments when you gift our wines.

Each of these winemakers is extremely skilled at their craft and cares immensely for the environment. 

We like to introduce you to some of our winemakers, so you can get to know them as we have over all these years:

Jacqueline Yoakum 

Jacqueline began her winemaking career in New York. She came to California to study at UC Davis where she received her Master’s in Viticulture and Oenology. She has since worked for iconic Sonoma and Napa labels Stags Leap Wine Cellars, Joseph Phelps, Schramsberg and Littorai to hone her craft. She is the consulting winemaker for Italics, Greggarious, Buhman, and Magnus. We are pleased to carry her meticulously crafted wines. 

Melissa Apter Castro

A Bay area native, the wineries of Napa were like Melissa’s backyard growing up. But it was studying abroad in Italy that unleashed her desire to make winemaking her life. After a degree from UC Davis and internships in Australia and Italy, she rose through the ranks at global group Antinori to become head winemaker of the Napa Valley estate on Atlas Peak. She was named one of the top seven winemakers in 2016 and is now leading Metzker Family Estates where she has total creativity to imprint her incredible style on small production wines. 

Eric Gordon

It was a visit to his grandfather’s Sonoma farm that caused Eric to sell everything and move from Florida to Northern California. Starting as a wine lab chemist, he learned from the legendary Kirk and Nils Venge, then Philippe Melka. Winemaking at Provenance, Satttui, Ravenswood and Punk Dog followed. Eric’s Kolbe Red Blend is an awesome wine that first appeared at Naked Wines and now AVA designated and exclusive to Travelfood Curated Wines.

Nori Nakamura

Nori, a native of Japan, discovered his love of wine on a trip to Italy, where a Barbaresco changed his life. Earning his Japan Sommelier Certificate, he headed to San Francisco working for Nikko hotels. His passion tugged though and led him to winemaking positions at Artesa, Pine Ridge, Silenus and Larsen Family. Noria is his own project dedicated to wine crafted in the tradition of sake - elegant and refined to pair with delicate cuisine. 

Celia Welch

Celia is a legendary winemaker. She is no stranger to accolades-- in 2006, she was listed as a 'Top 10 Tastmaker' which was followed by a Food & Wine 'Winemaker of the Year' award in 2008. She's a 100 point winemaker and has been inducted to the Winemaker's Hall of Fame. We are thrilled to have her as a part of the Travelfood family.