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Our Team

At Pine Ridge Vineyards, our team is passionate about producing wines that express the full character of our beautiful estate vineyards. Our vineyard manager knows every block intimately, and our winemaker is a master of artistic blending with an incredible palette of diverse terroir expressions. Everyone works together to produce wines that honor their unique origins with power, grace, and distinctive personality.

Michael BeaulacWinemaker & General Manager
Gustavo AviñaViticulture Director
Michael ConversanoAssistant Winemaker
Colleen FitzGeraldAssistant Winemaker & Enologist
Tracey HoffEstate Director 
Carolyn FreeSpecial Events Manager
Stacie DiritoHospitality Supervisor
Vanessa DuarteMember Experience Lead 
Winemaker Michael Beaulac in the winery

Michael Beaulac Winemaker & General Manager

Michael Beaulac has been making wine in the Napa Valley since 1997. As winemaker and general manager for Pine Ridge Vineyards, he oversees winemaking from the winery’s estate vineyards in five appellations: Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, and Carneros.

At the core of his winemaking philosophy is the desire to showcase the exceptional qualities of these diverse estate vineyards, and to this end he works closely with the vineyard and cellar teams.

“I get to make wine in one of the most prestigious grapegrowing areas anywhere,” says Michael. “And then I get to share and enjoy that wine with everyone I meet. I have the best job in the world.”

READ FULL BIO

Viticulture Director Gustavo Avina walking in the vineyards

Gustavo Aviña Viticulture Director

GUSTAVO AVIÑA

Gustavo Aviña, viticulture director at Pine Ridge Vineyards, grew up helping his father farm tomatoes in Mexico. When he and his wife came to the United States in 1988, Gustavo began working with some of the finest vineyard management programs in Napa Valley.

Since 2003, Gustavo has worked intimately with every Pine Ridge Vineyards estate property. He and his team understand the soils and climates of the winery’s vineyards in five different appellations: Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, and Carneros.

“Our home appellation, Stags Leap District, is very special,” he says. “The soils are like nowhere else. They drain water and automatically give the vines the stress we want, the kind of stress that develops very intense flavors in grapes.”

READ FULL BIO

Assistant Winemaker Mike Conversano in the winery

Michael Conversano Assistant Winemaker

Michael Conversano began his professional life as a chef. While working in San Francisco, he decided to take time off to learn more about wine and secured a harvest position.

When he discovered he liked making wine more than cooking, Michael headed back to school to earn his master’s in viticulture and enology from the University of California, Davis. At Pine Ridge Vineyards, Michael helps Winemaker Michael Beaulac—the other Michael—make decisions in the cellar to bring out the distinct personalities of the winery’s estate vineyards.

“I’m inspired by our team’s willingness to try new things,” says Michael. “We stay open to fresh approaches to winemaking that bring out the full character of the grapes from our incredible Napa Valley vineyards.”

READ FULL BIO

Enologist Colleen FitzGerald enjoying Pine Ridge CB+V outside

Colleen FitzGerald Assistant Winemaker & Enologist

Colleen FitzGerald, enologist at Pine Ridge Vineyards, came to the world of wine through harvest and lab internships after earning her biochemistry degree at California Polytechnic State University. She spent several years working harvests in New Zealand and Paso Robles and at Pine Ridge Vineyards before joining the Pine Ridge Vineyards team full time.

As the enologist and an integral member of the team, Colleen provides all the necessary information—including analyses and trials—for tastings, preparing the team to make the best possible decisions for the wines. She evaluates grape ripening, tastes fermenting tanks with “the Michaels” (Michael Beaulac, winemaker, and Michael Conversano, assistant winemaker), and helps with blending decisions.

“It’s rewarding to work as a team—problem solving, innovating, and working together to bring out the best in each of our great estate vineyards,” says Colleen.

READ FULL BIO

Estate Director Tracey Hoff in the estate vineyards

Tracey Hoff Estate Director 

A product of both coasts, Tracey grew up in New Jersey before heading west to California. In between, she called Northern Virginia, DC, and New York home.

“I can’t remember a time when wine wasn’t part of family dinners and celebrations,” she recalls. By the 90s, wine had seeped into Tracey’s career path, first on the restaurant floor and then at wineries. Her extensive experience includes tasting room management positions, brand direction, sales, and marketing leadership.

Tracey strives to share with guests the same closeness she enjoys with the Pine Ridge Vineyards family of wines. “The connection is what drives me,” she says. “Whether it’s geeking out over a region, varietal, or clone, enjoying a gathering with friends or family, or sharing a new wine with guests or an account—I love how wine brings everyone together.”

Events Manager Carolyn Free in the vineyards

Carolyn Free Special Events Manager

Hailing from southern California, Carolyn fell for wine while at cooking school in her early 20s. There, she learned the gift of matching the right dish with the right wine, a creative quality she relies on today.

Her deep-seated passion for the industry is best expressed through food and celebration. With a guest-first mentality and deep understanding of the culinary arts, Carolyn loves working with clients and making their events distinctive and delicious. Recently, she rang in her 50th birthday with a Napa red from 1996, far and away the best wine she’s tasted.

“My favorite part of the job is seeing the end result,” she says. “I love when the guests see the table and the setting for the first time.”

Hospitality Supervisor Stacie Dirito in the vineyards

Stacie Dirito Hospitality Supervisor

Stacie was raised in the Bay Area in Moraga. Her interest in wine took off through dinner parties she would host for friends, fit with good wine and memorable pairings. Of wine’s many compelling qualities, its ability to bring people together and reflect a specific place are some of her favorites.

She loves interacting with wine club members and never tires of hearing what makes enrollment special for them. An enthusiastic supporter of the diverse California wine landscape, Stacie likes to take in the entire scene, from her Napa Valley backyard to Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, and beyond.

“Wine brings people together from all walks of life,” she says. “I enjoy asking people what they’re enjoying in their glass and love how wine can open up a discussion and bring back memories.”

Member Experience Lead Vanessa Duarte in the vineyards

Vanessa Duarte Member Experience Lead 

Vanessa, born and raised in the Napa Valley, began her career in hospitality within the hotel industry in 2013, and quickly discovered her hospitality heart and passion for service. She loves connecting with guests and creating memorable experiences for them.

After taking an introductory course through The Court of Master Sommeliers, she found a new passion: wine! Vanessa joined the Pine Ridge Vineyards team as Member Experience Lead in August 2020.

“My role here has fueled my passion for growth within the industry,” she says. “I’m ecstatic to be here!”

Winemaker Michael Beaulac in the winery

Michael Beaulac Winemaker & General Manager

Michael Beaulac has been making wine in the Napa Valley since 1997. As winemaker and general manager for Pine Ridge Vineyards, he oversees winemaking from the winery’s estate vineyards in five appellations: Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, and Carneros.

At the core of his winemaking philosophy is the desire to showcase the exceptional qualities of these diverse estate vineyards, and to this end he works closely with the vineyard and cellar teams.

“I get to make wine in one of the most prestigious grapegrowing areas anywhere,” says Michael. “And then I get to share and enjoy that wine with everyone I meet. I have the best job in the world.”

READ FULL BIO

Read More Read Less
Viticulture Director Gustavo Avina walking in the vineyards

Gustavo Aviña Viticulture Director

GUSTAVO AVIÑA

Gustavo Aviña, viticulture director at Pine Ridge Vineyards, grew up helping his father farm tomatoes in Mexico. When he and his wife came to the United States in 1988, Gustavo began working with some of the finest vineyard management programs in Napa Valley.

Since 2003, Gustavo has worked intimately with every Pine Ridge Vineyards estate property. He and his team understand the soils and climates of the winery’s vineyards in five different appellations: Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, and Carneros.

“Our home appellation, Stags Leap District, is very special,” he says. “The soils are like nowhere else. They drain water and automatically give the vines the stress we want, the kind of stress that develops very intense flavors in grapes.”

READ FULL BIO

Read More Read Less
Assistant Winemaker Mike Conversano in the winery

Michael Conversano Assistant Winemaker

Michael Conversano began his professional life as a chef. While working in San Francisco, he decided to take time off to learn more about wine and secured a harvest position.

When he discovered he liked making wine more than cooking, Michael headed back to school to earn his master’s in viticulture and enology from the University of California, Davis. At Pine Ridge Vineyards, Michael helps Winemaker Michael Beaulac—the other Michael—make decisions in the cellar to bring out the distinct personalities of the winery’s estate vineyards.

“I’m inspired by our team’s willingness to try new things,” says Michael. “We stay open to fresh approaches to winemaking that bring out the full character of the grapes from our incredible Napa Valley vineyards.”

READ FULL BIO

Read More Read Less
Enologist Colleen FitzGerald enjoying Pine Ridge CB+V outside

Colleen FitzGerald Assistant Winemaker & Enologist

Colleen FitzGerald, enologist at Pine Ridge Vineyards, came to the world of wine through harvest and lab internships after earning her biochemistry degree at California Polytechnic State University. She spent several years working harvests in New Zealand and Paso Robles and at Pine Ridge Vineyards before joining the Pine Ridge Vineyards team full time.

As the enologist and an integral member of the team, Colleen provides all the necessary information—including analyses and trials—for tastings, preparing the team to make the best possible decisions for the wines. She evaluates grape ripening, tastes fermenting tanks with “the Michaels” (Michael Beaulac, winemaker, and Michael Conversano, assistant winemaker), and helps with blending decisions.

“It’s rewarding to work as a team—problem solving, innovating, and working together to bring out the best in each of our great estate vineyards,” says Colleen.

READ FULL BIO

Read More Read Less
Estate Director Tracey Hoff in the estate vineyards

Tracey Hoff Estate Director 

A product of both coasts, Tracey grew up in New Jersey before heading west to California. In between, she called Northern Virginia, DC, and New York home.

“I can’t remember a time when wine wasn’t part of family dinners and celebrations,” she recalls. By the 90s, wine had seeped into Tracey’s career path, first on the restaurant floor and then at wineries. Her extensive experience includes tasting room management positions, brand direction, sales, and marketing leadership.

Tracey strives to share with guests the same closeness she enjoys with the Pine Ridge Vineyards family of wines. “The connection is what drives me,” she says. “Whether it’s geeking out over a region, varietal, or clone, enjoying a gathering with friends or family, or sharing a new wine with guests or an account—I love how wine brings everyone together.”

Read More Read Less
Events Manager Carolyn Free in the vineyards

Carolyn Free Special Events Manager

Hailing from southern California, Carolyn fell for wine while at cooking school in her early 20s. There, she learned the gift of matching the right dish with the right wine, a creative quality she relies on today.

Her deep-seated passion for the industry is best expressed through food and celebration. With a guest-first mentality and deep understanding of the culinary arts, Carolyn loves working with clients and making their events distinctive and delicious. Recently, she rang in her 50th birthday with a Napa red from 1996, far and away the best wine she’s tasted.

“My favorite part of the job is seeing the end result,” she says. “I love when the guests see the table and the setting for the first time.”

Read More Read Less
Hospitality Supervisor Stacie Dirito in the vineyards

Stacie Dirito Hospitality Supervisor

Stacie was raised in the Bay Area in Moraga. Her interest in wine took off through dinner parties she would host for friends, fit with good wine and memorable pairings. Of wine’s many compelling qualities, its ability to bring people together and reflect a specific place are some of her favorites.

She loves interacting with wine club members and never tires of hearing what makes enrollment special for them. An enthusiastic supporter of the diverse California wine landscape, Stacie likes to take in the entire scene, from her Napa Valley backyard to Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, and beyond.

“Wine brings people together from all walks of life,” she says. “I enjoy asking people what they’re enjoying in their glass and love how wine can open up a discussion and bring back memories.”

Read More Read Less
Member Experience Lead Vanessa Duarte in the vineyards

Vanessa Duarte Member Experience Lead 

Vanessa, born and raised in the Napa Valley, began her career in hospitality within the hotel industry in 2013, and quickly discovered her hospitality heart and passion for service. She loves connecting with guests and creating memorable experiences for them.

After taking an introductory course through The Court of Master Sommeliers, she found a new passion: wine! Vanessa joined the Pine Ridge Vineyards team as Member Experience Lead in August 2020.

“My role here has fueled my passion for growth within the industry,” she says. “I’m ecstatic to be here!”

Read More Read Less