Heather Pyle, Senior Consulting Winemaker
As senior consulting winemaker, Heather Pyle provides her deep knowledge and expertise to new, on-site, day-to-day winemaker Kaleb Vanderham.
Heather is a highly regarded local winemaking consultant focused on premium wines. She started at Robert Mondavi in 1985. In 1988, she was put in charge of the winery’s Pinot Noir program, and from 1990 to 1996, the winery’s Cabernet and Merlot programs, including the Mondavi reserve wines. In 1996, she oversaw Mondavi’s La Familigia program of producing Italian varietal wines in California. After 17 years, Heather left Mondavi to become a consulting winemaker for start-up wineries in the Lodi appellation, Napa Valley and throughout the rest of the state.
Today, Heather combines her winemaking consultancy with tending her own two-acre vineyard and making her own wine under the Tangles Vineyard & Winery label. Heather describes herself as a traditionalist and her mantra is to make seamless wines that are distinctive and age-worthy.
As an Estate Crush managing partner handling operations, Nick brings extensive wine industry experience. He was a founder and president of Jessie’s Grove Winery in Lodi where he led the winery to national and local sales of more than 18,000 cases, and he also served as manager of Borra Vineyards and North Coast/Lodi Irrigation, a crucial supplier to the Northern California’s top-quality vineyards. Nick’s expert management and financial skills were honed during his 18 years in finance and banking.
As an Estate Crush managing partner handling management and strategic development, Bob’s background includes extensive experience in sport business, corporate partnerships and marketing. In addition to Estate Crush, he currently serves as the president of the marketing commission for the International Gymnastics Federation. Previously, he worked with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) as managing director of the state-of-the-art David Beckham Academy and the inaugural Amgen Tour of California. From 1998 – 2004, Bob served as president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, and prior to that, he served as president of the Massachusetts Sports Commission.
As an Estate Crush managing partner handling communications and management, Ali’s background includes deep knowledge and experience in helping build consumer brands, corporate positioning and new product introductions. From 1997 – 2008, she managed the consumer marketing practice for Fleishman-Hillard, the world’s largest public relations firm, and was recognized for her account management expertise, strategic counsel and development and implementation of results-driven programs. Before joining Fleishman-Hillard, Ali worked at public relations firms Technology Solutions, Inc. in San Jose and Carl Terzian Associates in Los Angeles.