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Over time, proprietor Courtney Benham has assembled a trusted core team based on the skills and raw intuition each brings to the table. At the center of this core is a collaborative, symbiotic approach, allowing them to craft a wide portfolio of wines with one underlying element…quality. Relying on great mentorship from Courtney over the years of developing rich relationships with growers, they have wrapped their arms around a broad spectrum of appellations producing what they feel are the best representations of each in the bottle.

Courtney Benham sampling wine

“Our favorite compliments about our wines are generally the ones that start with “I love your wine…it actually tastes like Pinot.”

For us, the winemaking process, from start to finish, is about intention. And our intention is to make single varietal wines that are uncorrupted and unfussy. With every vintage, we aim to hit that sweet spot of raw craft and real, affordable wines that our friends can enjoy every day.

Leslie Renaud - Principle Winemaker

Leslie

Renaud

Principle Winemaker

Leslie Mead Renaud’s path to becoming a winemaker is far from boring. A diving  instructor in Hawaii after High School, she began hooting for spotted owls in the forest service after earning a BA in Natural Resources at U of M. Her career took a sharp turn when she realized her interests aligned with the balance of the wine industry: a combination of science and art. She gained experience working in wineries all over Northern California, including Sonoma County, Napa Valley, and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Leslie ultimately seeks terroir driven wines that are vibrant and always balanced.

Melissa Hackett - Assistant Winemaker

Melissa

Hackett

Assistant Winemaker

Adventure seeker and all around wine geek, Melissa worked her way up the ranks from dragging hoses as a cellar worker to now crafting extensive blends as Assistant Winemaker. An outdoor enthusiast, Melissa came to California by way of Washington State. She earned her degree in Winemaking from South Seattle Community College in 2011 and worked five harvests between JM Cellars and William Church Winery. Leaving Washington in 2015 and worked harvests at Williams-Selyem and Gundlach Bundschu before finding her place at Martin Ray Winery. Describing her winemaking style as minimalistic, she enjoys guiding amazing fruit to become the best version of itself.

Raemy Paterson - Assistant Winemaker

Raemy

Paterson

Assistant Winemaker

An adventurer by heart and self-proclaimed avid picnicker, Raemy Paterson brought her global winemaking perspective to Martin Ray as the enologist. The child of a flight attendant and wine connoisseur, Raemy grew up traveling to Italian wineries getting lost in the countryside.  Upon earning her BS in Viticulture and Enology, she traveled the world, working harvests in Bordeaux, Provence, and the Barossa Valley. After returning to the states she continued her stateside career with harvests at Mumm Napa, Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs, and Jordan Vineyards. Settled, for now, in the Russian River Valley, Raemy enjoys crafting wines that allow the vineyards to shine with little intervention.

Keith Emerson - Consulting Winemaker

Keith

Emerson

Consulting Winemaker

Keith Emerson’s diverse winemaking is a testament to his love of wine and a deep understanding of the regions he sources from.  After earning a degree from UC Davis in 1999, he spent a year working for Cakebread Cellars, a stalwart winery in the heart of Napa Valley and then continued to grow his experience by making wine at historic Gundlach Bundschu. Upon returning from a stint in New Zealand, he joined the team at prestigious Vineyard 29 in 2005 as Director of Winemaking, being led and mentored by Phillip Melka, and assumed the role of Vice President, Winemaking & Viticulture in 2018.

From the beginning of his now 20-year career in wine, he has worked alongside top growers, founded Emerson Brown, Sonria and At Large Wines, and consulted for several notable wineries, making wine in Napa, Sonoma, and Oregon. With his detailed approach to winemaking coupled with an infinite wisdom of each vineyard he sources from, Keith has honed his craft, turning out top-rated wines each and every vintage. Joining Martin Ray in 2013, he has been an integral part of the team, acting as a key set of eyes and ears, keeping our finger on the pulse of Napa Valley.

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