Policies

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THE TEAM

Matt Johnson
Winemaker

Philippe Melka
Director of Winemaking

Robbie Crabb
Cellar Master

Pete Richmond
Vineyard Management

Matt Johnson— Winemaker
A few months into his studies in Agribusiness at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Matt was introduced to the world of wine by his new roommate. This chance encounter lead to a deep interest in and passion for winemaking. After changing his major and obtaining a B.S. in Wine and Viticulture, Matt embarked on a winemaking career that took him to Argentina, South Africa, Edna Valley and ultimately Napa Valley. Matt became Associate Winemaker at Dana Estate where he worked alongside Philippe Melka. Matt is dedicated to crafting the distinct site- driven wines of our Pritchard Hill estate with acute attention to detail, boundless curiosity and joyful enthusiasm.
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Philippe Melka— Director of Winemaking
“Over the last 18 years I have been involved in very few projects where I have felt from the start that there was something special like at BRAND. Everyone involved in BRAND is dedicated to working really hard to achieve excellence. With my general philosophy of letting the grapes shine throughout our wines with gentle winemaking plus having integrity, respect, friendship and lots of fun, I believe we will reach our goals.”

Philippe has made an extraordinary contribution to Napa Valley winemaking throughout his career. His undergraduate degree in Geology from the University of Bordeaux and master’s degree in Agronomy formed the foundation of his ongoing fascination with soil and its influence on wine quality. With mentors and experience at some of the world’s best estates including Chateau Haut Brion, Badia O Coltibuono and Chateau Petrus, Philippe brings a worldly perspective and deep understanding to his life’s pursuit of winemaking.

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Robbie Crabb—Cellar Master
Robbie grew up on the Puget Sound just outside of Seattle, and turned his early passion for local wine into a career, attending Walla Walla Community College where he earned a degree in enology and viticulture. After several years of time divided between harvests in Walla Walla and salmon seasons in Alaska where he worked on a commercial fishing boat, Robbie accepted an internship at Somerston Wine Company in Napa Valley where his work ethic and cellar skills earned him coveted internships in New Zealand and Australia. In 2015 Robbie was invited to join the BRAND team and currently puts his considerable talent and knowledge to work leading our Cellar team.
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Pete Richmond—Vineyard Management
Pete Richmond began his farming career in the Santa Maria Valley at Bien Nacido Vineyards. He ultimately became Vineyard Manager for Kendall-Jackson Winery where his immersion in the world of high-end wine growing included collaborating with the winemakers on their Lokoya and Cardinale Brands. While at Kendall-Jackson, Pete initiated their first organic vineyard.

In 2001, Pete created Silverado Farming Company. The vision was, and still is, to farm estate-grown luxury wines while caring about the community and employees. Pete is privileged to serve on a number of community nonprofits including the Ole Health Foundation Board, Ag for Youth Board and the Napa Valley Farm Worker Education Foundation.

With the Napa Valley Community Foundation, Pete created One Percent in 2006. Each year Silverado Farming Company donates one percent of its gross profit to fund Napa County Farm Worker issues and help at-risk children. To date, the fund has donated over one million dollars to local nonprofits.

In recognition of his many accomplishments, Pete Richmond was selected by the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association as the 2019 Napa Valley Grower of the Year.

Today, key employees like Miguel Luna own part of Silverado Farming Company and have a stake in the outcome. Miguel attended U.C. Davis where he received his B.S. in Viticulture and Enology. Upon graduation, he did winemaking internships at wineries including Pahlmeyer, Dana Estate and Chateau de Fieuzal in Bordeaux before becoming Cellarmaster at Adamvs.

He joined Silverado Farming in 2015 as a Viticultural Tech and quickly worked up the ranks to become a Partner in 2017, now managing up to 400 employees. His training in winemaking and enology enables him to see the vineyard through the eyes of the winemaker and understand how vineyard decisions affect the wines.
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